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Spring Grove's Flickinger makes 200 fly semifinals

STAFF REPORT
  • Spring Grove's Hali Flickinger swimmed a personal-best 2:06.67 on Tuesday.
  • Flickinger will now compete in Tuesday night's semifinals at 9:37 p.m.
  • The semifinals will be telecast live on NBC. There is a watch party in Spring Grove.

Spring Grove High School graduate Hali Flickinger picked a great time to set a new personal best in the 200-meter butterfly.

Spring Grove's Hali Flickinger will compete in this week's U.S. National Championships less than a year after swimming in the 2016 Olympics.

Competing in her first Olympic Games on Tuesday afternoon in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Flickinger posted the second-fastest 200 fly time in her preliminary, qualifying for Tuesday night's semifinal swim. Her time of 2 minutes, 6.67 seconds was a new personal best, matching the time of teammate Cammile Adams and was second to Spain's Mireia Belmonte, who finished just .03 seconds ahead of Flickinger in their heat. Adams won her heat.

The swim was a drastic improvement over Flickinger's U.S. Olympic Team Trials qualifying time of 2:07.50. That time earned her the 13th-best time in the world.

Flickinger made the turn at 50 meters in third place and, by the time she turned after 100 meters, she moved into second. She was in first place after the third turn and held that spot until Belmonte made a late charge to edge the former York YMCA swimmer and three-time national champion at the University of Georgia.

The top 16 times in the event qualified for Tuesday night's semifinal swim, where the top eight will qualify for Wednesday night's final. Flickinger is expected to swim at 9:37 p.m. live on NBC.

From York County to Rio: Flickinger's Olympic journey

There will be a watch party at Spring Grove Community Park, beginning at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

The park will show the race on a 20-foot-wide, by 11-foot-high screen at the park. Popcorn and other food and beverages are expected to be sold for any spectators who show up to cheer on Flickinger.

Flickinger is the first York County swimmer to compete in the Olympics since 1996, when Whitney Metzler finished eighth in the 400-meter individual medley at the Atlanta Games.

Check back later Tuesday for more details on Flickinger's swim in the semifinals.