Spring Grove grad Hali Flickinger earns top seed for 200 fly final at Olympic Swim Trials

Hali Flickinger participates in the Women's 400 Individual Medley during wave 2 of the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials on Sunday, June 13, 2021, in Omaha, Neb. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Hali Flickinger continues to own the women's 200-meter butterfly event.

The Spring Grove High School graduate finished in 2 minutes, 6.73 seconds to easily secure the top seed for Thursday's final in the event at the U.S. Olympic Swimming Team Trials in Omaha, Nebraska. 

Flickinger finished more than a second ahead of No. 2 seed Charlotte Hook, who posted a 2:08.08.

Flickinger also had the top time during the preliminary rounds with a 2:08.14 and is the favorite to earn a spot on Team USA in the event for Tokyo Olympic Games later this summer. She represented Team USA during the 2016 Olympic Games in the 200 fly and finished seventh.

Flickinger, a former University of Georgia standout who is currently based in Arizona, also finished second in the 400 individual medley on Sunday in a personal-best time. She is a near Olympic lock in that event. Flickinger posted a time of 4:33.96 in the event, the second-fastest time in the world this year, finishing just behind Emma Weyant, who won the race and the automatic Olympic roster spot.

"I just kind of started training it, like focusing a little bit on it the past few months," Flickinger said after the 400 IM race. "Especially when I dropped time at Mission, we kind of thought, 'Oh, maybe we have a shot,' (at making the Olympic team in the 400 IM), you don't know, but it's just really cool to see hard work pay off, so I'm really excited."

Flickinger is currently scheduled to also swim in the 200 backstroke, which will begin on Friday, with the final on Saturday. Flickinger also qualified for the 200 freestyle, but later scratched from that event after the preliminary round.

Flickinger competed for the Cali Condors of the International Swimming League and won the championship alongside fellow York County swimmer, Coleman Stewart. The York Suburban High School graduate also competed in a semifinal on Wednesday night and had success.

The York Suburban High graduate swam a :48.62 and tied for sixth during Wednesday night's men's 100 freestyle semifinal and earned a spot into Thursday's final.

Coleman Stewart

Stewart posted the seventh-fastest time in the preliminary heats at :48.45. Ryan Held had the top qualifying time in the heats at :48.07. Caeleb Dressel had the top time during the semifinals with a :47.77.

Stewart finished 10th in the men's 100-meter backstroke event on Monday with a time of 53.91 seconds and missed out on the final event. The former Trojan will also participate in the 100 fly event, which begins with the preliminary and semifinal rounds on Friday and the final on Saturday evening.

Stewart entered 2021 after a decorated career in college at North Carolina State. He was a two-time NCAA champion (100-meter backstroke, 400-meter freestyle relay), 22-time All-American, 13-time Atlantic Coast Conference champion, 2017 ACC Freshman of the Year and two-time ACC Men's Swimmer of the Year (2019, 2020).

The U.S. Swimming Olympic Team Trials will continue through June 20 and will be broadcast on various NBC channels and streaming services.

Reach Rob Rose at rrose@yorkdispatch.com.