Spring Grove grad Flickinger eighth in 100 fly final
- Spring Grove grad Hali Flickinger finished eighth in the 100 butterfly at the U.S. Olympic Trials.
- Flickinger's best event, the 200 butterfly, will be held later this week. She is seeded fourth.
- West York's Courtney Harnish finished 13th in the qualifying for the 400 freeystle.
Spring Grove High School graduate and University of Georgia standout Hali Flickinger missed out on her first chance to book a spot to the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics on Monday night at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Omaha, Nebraska.
Flickinger swam in the finals of the 100-meter butterfly event, but finished eighth with a time of 59.31 seconds. The top two swimmers from the event, Kelsi Worrell and Dana Vollmer, earned the two Olympic spots from the event. Worrell won in :56.48, while Vollmer, who is just 16 months removed from the birth of her first child, came in at :57.21.
Flickinger, who used to swim for the York YMCA, qualified for seven events at the team trials, but will compete in only five during the week. Her best event, the 200 butterfly, is still to come later in the week with the preliminaries on Wednesday, the semifinals on Wednesday night and then the finals on Thursday. Flickinger qualified with the fourth-fastest seeded time in that event.
Harnish misses out on finals: West York High School senior Courtney Harnish failed to qualify for the 400-meter freestyle finals on Monday afternoon.
Harnish, who swims for the York YMCA, finished 13th in the afternoon prelims with a time of 4 minutes, 11.44 seconds, good for 13th place in the event. She finished .92 seconds behind the eighth-place time. The top eight swimmers, plus two alternates, qualified for Monday night's final, with a shot to represent the United States in the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
Harnish entered the Team Trials having qualified in seven events, but only planned to swim in five. The 400 free was the event with her best qualifying seed, entering with the 11th-fastest time.
Other local swimmers: Recent Dallastown High grad and Alabama recruit Kacey Oberlander finished 136th in the 100-meter backstroke preliminaries on Monday afternoon with a time of 1:04.64. She also swims for the York YMCA.
Recent York Suburban grad and North Carolina State commit Coleman Stewart finished 135th in the 100 back prelims with a time of :57.57. He swims out of the North Baltimore Aquatic Club.
Ledecky going back to Olympics: Katie Ledecky held off a persistent challenge from Leah Smith to win the 400 freestyle on Monday night.
Ledecky, who surprisingly won her first Olympic gold at age 15 four years ago in London, is now recognized as one of the most dominant freestylers in history. She set a blistering pace over the first half of the race, putting her more than 2 seconds ahead of the time from her record-setting performance at the 2014 Pan Pacific Championships in Australia. But Ledecky tired a bit over the final 200, another world mark slipping away when she touched in 3 minutes, 58.98 seconds. Smith pushed the 19-year-old winner all the way, also claiming an Olympic berth by finishing at 4:00.65.
The men's 100 breaststroke, won by Kevin Cordes, followed by Cody Miller.
One night after stunningly missing out on an Olympic berth in the 400 individual medley, an ailing Ryan Lochte swam two more grueling races to qualify for the final of the 200 freestyle. Shaking off the pain of a groin injury, Lochte got through the morning preliminaries and posted the fifth-fastest time in the evening semifinals.
There was nearly an even bigger shocker in the semifinals of the women’s 100 backstroke. Defending Olympic champion Missy Franklin, one of America’s biggest stars at the London Games four years ago, got off to an even slower start than usual and barely qualified for Tuesday’s final.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.