Spring Grove honors Olympic athlete Hali Flickinger on Monday, Sept. 5, 2016.
Many of America’s top swimmers will descend on Irvine, California, over the next several days, looking to earn national championships and qualify for the world championships.
A number of York County athletes will look to make their presence felt at the 2018 USA Swimming Phillips 66 Nationals at the William Woollett Jr. Aquatic Center.
That includes 2016 Olympian Hali Flickinger.
Flickinger is the No. 1 seed in the 200-meter butterfly. The Spring Grove High School graduate finished seventh in that same event at the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro. Flickinger is scheduled to compete in that event Wednesday.
Flickinger has also qualified to race in the 400 freestyle (No. 3 seed), 400 individual medley (No. 5 seed), 100 butterfly (No. 8 seed) and 200 individual medley (No. 34 seed) in Irvine.
Just because she has qualified to swim in an event does not mean Flickinger will actually compete in that event. She will likely pick and choose to compete in events that give her the best opportunity for high finishes.
Flickinger, who excelled in college for the University of Georgia, currently trains in Athens, Georgia.
If Flickinger excels, she can qualify to compete in the 2019 World Championships.
Other area swimmers: In addition to Flickinger, other local athletes who have qualified to compete in California are West York grad Courtney Harnish, Central York grad Emily Ilgenfritz and Dallastown grad Kacey Oberlander. Leah Braswell and Meghan Small, two Marylanders who have competed for the York YMCA club team, have also qualified.
Harnish followed Flickinger to Georgia and earned two NCAA Division I All-America honors for Bulldogs as a freshman, finishing 10th in the 500 free and 17th in the 1,650 free at the NCAA meet. She won the Southeastern Conference title in the 1,650 free. At the Irvine meet, she’s qualified to compete in the 400 free (No. 26 seed), 800 free (No. 28 seed), 200 free (No. 30 seed) and 1,500 free (No. 37 seed).
Ilgenfritz will be a junior at Georgia Tech. She’s qualified for the 400 free (No. 44 seed).
Oberlander, who will be a junior at Alabama, is the No. 41 seed in the 200 backstroke.
Braswell is the No. 15 seed in the 400 free, the No. 32 seed in the 800 free, the No. 32 seed in the 1,500 free, the No. 36 seed in the 200 free, the No. 36 seed in the 400 IM and the No. 92 seed in the 200 IM. She will be a freshman at Florida this fall.
Small, who will be a junior at Tennessee, is seeded No. 25 in the 200 fly, No. 26 in the 200 backstroke, No. 28 in the 200 IM, No. 62 in the 100 fly and No. 81 in the 100 back. She finished fifth in the NCAA Championships in the 200 IM.
The national meet begins Wednesday and runs through Sunday. A livestream is available on NBCSports.com. Television coverage will be available on the Olympic Channel, NBCSN and NBC.