Flickinger wins 200 fly at U.S. Nationals, qualifies for World Championships
Spring Grove High School graduate Hali Flickinger will compete in her second major international event in as many summers in July.
Flickinger won the 200-meter butterfly on Tuesday night at the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, qualifying her for next month's World Championships in Budapest, Hungary.
Flickinger won with a time of 2 minutes, 7.60 seconds, more than a second faster than Dakota Luther, who finished in second place with a time of 2:08.71. The winning time is the 10th fastest in the world for the 200 fly in 2017.
The 200 fly was the event that Flickinger competed in during the 2016 Rio Olympics, where she finished in seventh place.
"Coming off of Rio, (I had) a lot of confidence coming in, so hopefully Budapest has even greater things ahead for us," Flickinger said in an interview following the event.
Flickinger led from start to finish, making the first turn at 50 meters with a slim 0.04 second lead. But, by the time she made the final turn home, she opened a full body-length lead over the rest of the field.
With the 200 fly being the first final contested during the five-day national championships, Flickinger was the first member of Team USA to clinch a spot on the World Championship roster.
She was the top seed in the event entering the U.S. Nationals and qualified for the final as the top seed with a time of 2:08.43 during Tuesday morning's preliminary swims.
Flickinger qualified to swim in four other events over the course of the week, but after already booking a spot in the World Championships, it's up in the air if she'll compete in all four of her remaining events.
Other York County swimmers: West York's Courtney Harnish and Manchester's Leah Braswell both also swam on Tuesday, but neither made the finals.
Harnish also swam in the 200 fly, but finished 38th with a time of 2:16.56. Braswell finished 14th in the 800-meter free with a time of 8:44.67.
Braswell is expected to swim in four more events over the course of the week, while Harnish, who will swim for the University of Georgia next year, has five events still on her schedule.
Other action: In other action from Indianapolis, Olympic gold medalists Katie Ledecky and Nathan Adrian each won signature events to advance to the world championships.
Ledecky easily claimed the women’s 800-meter freestyle title in a time of 8:11.50. The defending Olympic and world champion won by 8.96 seconds over Leah Smith. Adrian reclaimed the men’s 100 free title in 47.96 seconds, beating Caeleb Dressel by 0.01.
Each winner makes the team. Second-place finishers are likely to be added when the selection process ends.
Mallory Comerford defeated American record-holder Simone Manuel in the women’s 100 free. But it took the world’s third-fastest time of the year, :52.81, to win.
Jack Conger claimed the 200 butterfly titles and True Sweetser won the men’s 1,500 free.