By USA Swimming | Wednesday, April 10, 2019
Two events. Two victories for national team athletes. The 2019 TYR Pro Series at Richmond is officially underway as Wednesday’s 800m freestyle started the competition off with a statement. The four-day event will feature over 400 athletes, including 33 professionals and 41 U.S. National Team athletes.
One of those 41 national teamers, a six-time Olympic medalist by the name of Katie Ledecky (Bethesda, Md./Nation’s Capital Swim Club), took home the first event of the meet, touching in 8:14.24 to win the 800m freestyle. The win marks TYR Pro Swim Series win No. 51 for the decorated swimmer, tying her with Missy Franklin for the most wins in TYR Pro Swim Series history.
Ledecky’s win adds to her long list of 800m freestyle victories, highlighted by gold-medal winning performances at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics. Though she has seen frequent success in the event, part of her recent win might be attributed to her recent elevation training in Colorado Springs, Colo., just two weeks ago.
“Sometimes we go right to a meet after altitude and sometimes that’s really tough and sometimes it’s great,” said Ledecky following her elevation training at the end of March. “Just getting back into training, sometimes the first couple of days at sea level are hard getting back into it, feeling a little different, feeling a little funky getting back into it, but then you start to see that you’re at a better place than where you were when you left for altitude.”
Fellow national teamer Leah Smith touched just over two seconds behind Ledecky, good for second place and a time of 8:16.33. The second-place finish adds to a successful 2019 TYR Pro Swim Series campaign for Smith, who now has eight finishes inside the top-3 on the year.
The men’s 800m freestyle title was claimed by Zane Grothe (Boulder City, Nev./ Boulder City Henderson Swim Team) who touched in 7:55.78. The win increases his 2019 TYR Pro Swim Series total to three, joining Michael Andrew (Lawrence, Kan./Race Pace Club) as the only American male with three wins on the year so far.
Marcelo Acosta finished second after he and Grothe traded leads for the first 600 meters of the event. Grothe turned on the after burners for the final 200 meters, eventually edging out Acosta by nearly three and a half seconds. Grothe’s win earns him back-to-back honors in TYR Pro Swim Series 800m freestyle competition after he won the event in Des Moines last March, finishing in 7:54.28.
Tomorrow’s second-day action begins with prelims at 9 a.m. ET, and finals beginning at 6 p.m, both available via live stream onsftest.usaswimming.org. Results can be found at omegatiming.com.