Spring Grove grad Hali Flickinger earns a second straight national title in 200 butterfly


Hali Flickinger is a national champion — again.

Hali Flickinger

For a second consecutive year, the Spring Grove High School graduate has won the 200-meter butterfly women’s championship at the Phillips 66 USA Swimming National Championships.

Flickinger, 24, won this year’s 200 fly on Wednesday night in Irvine, California. She won the same event in 2017 at Indianapolis.

Flickinger won the event in a time of 2 minutes, 6:14 seconds. Katie Drabot took second in 2:07.18. Regan Smith was third in 2:07.43. The victory qualified Flickinger for the world championships.

In a preliminary qualifying race on Wednesday, Flickinger was even faster breaking the meet record in the 200 fly — a mark that was set back in 1981.

Flickinger, 24, finished qualifying in 2:05.87, smashing the meet record of Mary T. Meagher. It was easily the oldest nationals meet record on the books.

Flickinger entered as the No. 1 seed in the event and lived up to that billing, after finishing seventh in the 200 fly at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Her qualifying time moved Flickinger to second in the world rankings for 2018 behind Great Britain’s Alys Thomas (2:05.45) and is now the third-fastest American all-time in the event, sitting behind Mary Descenza (2:04.14) and Kathleen Hersey (2:05.78).

Flickinger also moved to 18th all-time in the world rankings behind Susie O’Neill (2:05.81) of Australia and just ahead of American Misty Hyman (2:05.88).

Flickinger, a former standout at the University of Georgia, currently trains with the Athens Bulldog Aquatic Club.

Other local swimmers: Following is a list of some other swimmers with local ties at the national meet through Thursday's events: 

Meghan Small (York YMCA): 19th, 200 butterfly, 2:12.10; 33rd, 200 backstroke, 2:14.17.

Courtney Harnish (West York High School): 32nd, 800 freestyle, 8:46.81; 45th, 200 freestyle, 2:01.87.

Kacey Oberlander (Dallastown High School): 57th, 200 backstroke, 2:16.71.

Leah Braswell (York YMCA): 37th, 800 freestyle, 8:50.10; 58th, 200 freestyle, 2:02.58.