Leaving the TYR Pro Series In Westmont, What Five Champions Had to Say About Where They Stand

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Leaving the TYR Pro Series In Westmont, What Five Champions Had to Say About Where They Stand

The TYR Pro Swim Series meets have consistently showcased an array of exceptional swimmers, and this past weekend’s event in Westmont, Illinois was no exception. Featuring record-breaking performances and strong indications of future championship success, the following interviews highlight five outstanding swimmers who made a significant impact in Westmont.

Leah Hayes

Champion in both the 400 and 200 meter individual medleys, Leah Hayes is gearing up for the fast approaching USA Swimming International Team Trials. 

When asked what her training will look like leading up to the trials, she said: “It’s probably going to continue to be the same. Maybe make it a bit more difficult.” Hayes also shared that she will increase her intensity with more double practices. She said: “I don’t typically do doubles. I just started this year, so I’m going to probably make those a little bit harder.” 

Regarding the Westmont Pro Series and swimming on her home turf, there was no doubt that Hayes received considerable support from the aspiring young swimmers who idolize her. If she could share anything with these young hopefuls, Hayes said: “I have to say that community is something that pushes you and supports you throughout it all, and they’re something you need to lean on. I lean on them in my hard times, and they are with me through thick and thin, and they’ve helped me through so much in my journey.”

Carson Foster 

Cruising to four top-four finishes in all of his events, Carson Foster again displayed consistency and versatility, along with achieving the third-fastest time in the world this year in the 400-meter individual medley.

In the process of establishing a framework in the summer for the upcoming Olympic year, Foster said: “Every summer’s important for me. I think I’m definitely more of a long course swimmer, and that’s where I have the most fun with swimming. The summer is important to set up next summer, but at the same time, I’m treating this summer just like I would treat next summer. So, even though next year is an Olympic year, this year is just as important for me.”

With Foster’s rigorous training schedule, he only occasionally takes a break from swimming. Foster said: “The offseason is very short for me. Typically, I don’t like taking big breaks from swimming, but I like to play golf.” He added: “In Austin, it’s normally pretty hot in the offseason, so I like to go to the lake. It’s more just hanging out with my buddies and playing golf, going on the boat, and just kind of getting away from the competitiveness a little bit.”

Lydia Jacoby

Champion in the 100- and 50-meter breaststroke, Lydia Jacoby continues to impress with only a year of consistent long course training under her belt. Recently, her range in the breaststroke races has been on display. 

With the Olympic year fast approaching and Jacoby one of the favorites to obtaining a Team USA spot, Jacoby said: “I’m just trying to mimic how the Olympic year will be. So, hitting all these meets and getting into a long course season this year is really important.”

When it comes to making the switch from short-course training to long-course training, Jacoby said: “I mean, this is my first year training long course, for a big chunk of time, other than training camps here or there. So I’ve been talking about my training plan and doing a lot more of my bigger aerobic sets in short course and just working speed long course so that I’m not losing that.” 

Leon Marchand  

Keeping his undefeated season alive, Marchand again put on a show in Westmont and continues to prove that he is carrying major momentum into the summer. After a weekend of racing, Marchand set Pro Swim Series records in his specialty events, the 400- and 200-meter individual medleys. 

The breaststroke leg of his medley races is a key for Marchand, who said: “I train a lot of breaststroke. I’m just trying to relax in the first 100 because I know I’m going to be kind of behind everyone. I just need to get going during my first strokes, and it’s kind of hard at the beginning because I just did fly and backstroke, but I just try to build it and just go as hard as I can at the end.” 

Every swimmer has their pre-race rituals before their races, but Marchand strives for simplicity. He said: “I don’t have that many (rituals) actually. I’m pretty simple. I like to think about something else. That’s the main thing. So I’m just trying to watch Netflix shows and stuff. I just stay relaxed and wait for the moment to swim.” 

Marchand is no stranger to pressure. When coping with expectations, he said: “The pressure has been worse every year, but I’m used to it now. I’m still working on it for Paris next year because it’s going to be the peak. I’m working on it with my mental training a lot, so it’s getting better, and I feel more relaxed now.”

Regan Smith 

Going four for four in all her finals races, Regan Smith had a stellar meet in Westmont. She broke the Pro Series record in the 100-meter backstroke and the U.S. Open and Pro Series records in the 200-meter backstroke. 

With her rigorous training under Bob Bowman, Smith has been putting more of an emphasis on her underwater work. Regarding her effort to improve her underwaters in training, Smith said: “With Bob, we do a lot of kicking, and so I think my legs are really strong now and are more prepared to have better underwaters in a race. So I think now it definitely helps me. I think in the past maybe not so much, but now definitely.” 

Smith also provided some insight into her life now that she has switched to training in Arizona. Taking a step back and reflecting on her life in a new environment, Smith said: “I feel like I’ve just been able to slow down and just focus on swimming, focus on what I’m doing that day. I live alone in Arizona, and that’s my first time ever being by myself and being an adult. It’s been really fun to kind of practice being like a grownup. I love doing silly Monday things like doing laundry and making my own meals, and cleaning the kitchen after breakfast. It’s just been fun.”

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Matt
Matt
10 months ago

🔥 writeup Casey!

Audrey_mayer
Audrey_mayer
10 months ago

I am a breaststroke girl and I look up to Lydia Jacoby and Lilly King

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