Review: Swimmers talk following final day of TYR Pro Swim Series in Texas Special

Posted Jan 18, 2021 by Markos Papadatos
On January 17, Olympians and Olympic swimming hopefuls chatted with Digital Journal's Markos Papadatos as part of a virtual mixed zone following the TYR Pro Swim Series meeting in San Antonio, Texas, which was hosted by USA Swimming.
Olympic swimmer Kathleen Baker
Olympic swimmer Kathleen Baker
Photo Courtesy of USA Swimming
These professional swimmers included Ally McHugh, Zane Groteh, Abbey Weitzeil, Ryan Murphy, Kathleen Baker, and Zach Apple.
Kathleen Baker
Her goal is "to find the little joys in practice" and "to enjoy those moments." She listed the backstroke as her personal favorite stroke since it's her best, but she noted that he 200 meter IM (individual medley) is her favorite event. "I love to dive off the blocks and to do something different," she said.
Baker is looking forward to competing at the women's 100 meter backstroke race at the Olympic Trials. "That will be one of the most competitive events in the U.S. if not the world. It keeps me on my toes," she said.
Her New Year's resolutions are to work on her core and to get stronger in the weight room. "Also, to work on my freestyle breathing in swimming," she said.
American swimmer Olivia Smoliga
American swimmer Olivia Smoliga
Becca Wyant
Olivia Smoliga
Smoliga won first place in the women's 100 meter freestyle race in San Antonio, Texas, with a time of 54.67 seconds. "It felt good," she said. "I was really happy to finish it strong."
She opened up about winning ISL Season 2 with the Cali Condors, where she served as co-captain of the team. "It was incredible. We tried our best to bring that energy of ISL into this New Year. It was a blast and it was really fun to be with everyone. We get a taste of it each time we get to race even in meets like these," she said.
Smoliga looks forward to going back and training. "I think we have a month and a half until our next meet. I am going to get back to work," she said.
Ally McHugh
She opened up about her performance over the last two days. "It felt pretty good," McHugh said. "I think I got better as the meet went on and I am happy that I finished the meet on a good note today. I think today was my best day and I am super happy with it."
"It is super-nice to be swimming long course. Any opportunity to race it, I try to do as many events as possible in preparation for the U.S. Olympic Trials," she said.
Zane Grothe
When asked what is next for him, Grothe responded, "Back to training, honestly, there might be a TYR Pro Swim Series in March. I don't know where it's at. I am keeping my line of sight right in front of me. I did a full 1,500 meter warm down after that mile. As soon as I can hit the pool again, I will get down to training, and start working again."
Abbey Weitzeil
On being back racing long course, she said, "It has been a long time since I raced long course. I love long course, so I think it was really fun. I was really excited to come to this meet. Being here, seeing everyone, and honestly, being able to race again was a lot of fun. I am excited to have another long course meet soon."
This past November, she destroyed her own NCAA and American record (20.90 seconds) in ISL Season 2 in Budapest. "ISL was fun. I had a blast. That was the first meet coming out of quarantine for everyone," she said. "I also love racing the 50 meter short course, I think it's awesome. Being able to race people that I don't normally race short course was also really cool."
For Weitzeil, having Lenny Krayzelburg as General Manager was great. "I love Lenny," she said. "It was so fun, he is the best. Go LA Current."
As part of her New Year's resolutions, she would like to write things down more. "I got a ton of new planners to write down goals and 'to do' lists since that was one of my goals," she said.
Ryan Murphy
On January 17, Murphy won first place in the men's 200 meter backstroke race, clocking 1:56.82. "That was nice. The 200 meter back is a little bit more strategy, that's one where these end-season swims matter a bit more. It's about pushing through the pain as best as possible," he said.
He looks forward to going back home to California and getting in some good training with the boys out there," he added.
Zach Apple
Apple finished in second place in the men's 100 meter freestyle race on January 17. "Of course, you always want to win. Ryan [Held] is a good friend of mine. To come second to him is bittersweet. You want him to do well as a friend, but of course, we are all competitors and we all want to win. You can't always win, so you take it and you learn from it," he said.
He shared that he wants to improve with his "speed overall."
For Apple, it was "awesome" to represent the DC Trident in ISL Season 2 in Budapest, Hungary. "Working with Kaitlin Sandeno and the coaching staff at DC Trident was super fun," he said. "Racing is obviously what we like to do, and we got to do a lot of it in Budapest. The team we had was awesome, we have a lot of really talented swimmers. We came together and there were no egos there. We were all supporting each other equally."