2019 Atlanta Classic: Day 1 Finals Live Recap


The opening night of finals at the Atlanta Classic will feature the men’s and women’s 200 free, 100 breast, 100 fly and 400 IM. All events will have ‘A’, ‘B’, ‘C’ and ‘D’ finals.

This morning we saw a pair of meet records set by Fynn Minuth in the men’s 200 free (1:49.21) and Hali Flickinger in the women’s 100 fly (59.14).

Other notables in action tonight include Caeleb Dressel in the men’s 100 fly (and 100 breast), and Dean Farris in the men’s 200 free.

Women’s 200 Free Final

  • Meet Record: 1:54.82, Katie Ledecky, 2016
  1. Hali Flickinger, ABSC, 1:58.33
  2. Meaghan Raab, NAC, 2:00.11
  3. Jordan Stout, ABSC, 2:01.36

Hali Flickinger recorded the fastest split in the field on the last three 50s of the women’s 200 free to win by nearly two seconds in a time of 1:58.33, improving on her prelim swim by over half a second.

The swim stands up as the third-fastest of her career, only trailing performances of 1:58.18 and 1:58.21 done at the 2015 and 2018 Summer Nationals respectively.

She ended up being the only swimmer sub-2:00, with Meaghan Raab second in 2:00.11 and Jordan Stout third in 2:01.36.

Melanie Margalis, who qualified second this morning behind Flickinger in 1:59.00, scratched out of the final.

Men’s 200 Free Final

  1. Kieran Smith, RAC, 1:47.85
  2. Khader Baqlah, GSC, 1:47.94
  3. Trey Freeman, BAY, 1:48.58

University of Florida teammates Kieran SmithKhader Baqlah and Trey Freeman went to battle in the men’s 200 free final, and it ended up being a very exciting finish down the stretch with Smith and Baqlah both in the hunt for the win.

Turning just under three-tenths back of Baqlah at the 150, Smith charged home in 27.36 to earn the victory, shattering Fynn Minuth‘s meet record from the prelims of 1:49.21 in 1:47.85. That falls just shy of his lifetime best set at last summer’s Nationals (1:47.72).

Baqlah was .09 back for second in 1:47.94, his fastest ever swim at a non-taper meet, as did Freeman (1:48.58) who had the quickest final 50 of all in 27.22.

Minuth finished fifth in 1:50.01, and Dean Farris was back in seventh in 1:50.81.

Women’s 100 Breast Final

  • Meet Record: 1:07.25, Molly Hannis, 2018
  1. Kate Douglass, CPAC, 1:09.63
  2. Sofia Carnevale, ESWIM, 1:10.62
  3. Rachel Bernhardt, GAME, 1:11.22

17-year-old Kate Douglass of CPAC pulled away on the back half of the women’s 100 breast for the win in a time of 1:09.63, breaking 1:10 for the first time in her career. Her previous best had stood since the 2017 Junior Nationals where she was 1:10.05.

Sofia Carnevale of Etobicoke touched second in 1:10.62, the fastest time she’s done outside of a Canadian Trials or Championship meet.

Out of the ‘B’ final, Nikol Popov of Tennessee chopped off over two seconds from prelims for a time of 1:10.03, the second-fastest out of anyone in the field. This was the 19-year-old’s fastest swim since the 2016 Olympic Trials.

Men’s 100 Breast Final

  • Meet Record: 59.98, Michael Andrew, 2018
  1. Caeleb Dressel, GSC, 1:01.22
  2. Chase Kalisz, ABSC, 1:01.96
  3. Liam Bell, USAC, 1:02.16

After qualifying in the tenth and final position for the ‘A’ final in the prelims, Caeleb Dressel provided some outside smoke in tonight’s 100 breast final for the men as he won in a new PB of 1:01.22. Dressel’s previous best was a 1:02.26 from the 2015 National Championships, and two months ago in Des Moines he had not been far off in 1:02.43. This morning he qualified in 1:04.36.

The 22-year-old was over a second faster than the rest of the field on the opening 50 in 28.13, and that’s what earned him the victory.

Chase Kalisz made up nearly six-tenths on Dressel on the back half, but he was still three-quarters of a second shy at the finish as he settled for the runner-up spot in 1:01.96. That stands up as the 2nd-fastest swim of his career, with his lifetime best at 1:01.64.

Liam Bell (1:02.16) and Ethan Browne (1:02.38) both hit personal bests for third and fourth, and South African Michael Houlie was notably fifth in 1:03.03.

Women’s 100 Fly Final

  1. Hali Flickinger, ABSC, 59.06
  2. Kate Douglass, CPAC, 59.33
  3. Leah Gingrich, HURR, 59.63

Hali Flickinger completed an impressive double following her 200 free win, breaking her meet record of 59.14 from the heats in a time of 59.06. The time stands up as her sixth-fastest performance ever.

Shortly after her 100 breast win where she cracked 1:10 for the first time, Kate Douglass broke a minute for the first time in this event to take second in 59.33.

Leah Gingrich, who went sub-1:00 for the first time this morning in 59.94, had another PB for third in 59.63, and Abby Harter made it three women under a minute for the first time in their career in fourth (59.90).

Erika Brown blasted a 59.56 out of the ‘B’ final, over two and a half seconds quicker than she was in the morning. Brown has only been faster three times in her career, two of those coming at Summer Nats in 2018.

Men’s 100 Fly Final

  1. Caeleb Dressel, GSC, 51.41
  2. Santiago Grassi, AUB, 53.45
  3. Camden Murphy, ABSC, 53.82

Not too long after his 100 breast win, Caeleb Dressel was back in the water for the men’s 100 fly final.

He showed no signs of fatigue, dominating his way to a new season-best and meet record of 51.41. The time takes out Joseph Schooling‘s previous record of 51.86 from 2016, and bumps him up from eighth to sixth in the world rankings. His previous season-best was a 51.51 from March, and was also his fastest swim ever in-season prior to tonight.

2018-2019 LCM MEN 100 FLY

49.50 *WR
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Santiago Grassi of Auburn touched second in a time of 53.45, holding off a hard-charging Camden Murphy (53.82).

Women’s 400 IM Final

  • Meet Record: 4:33.55, Elizabeth Beisel, 2016
  1. Melanie Margalis, SPA, 4:41.57
  2. Kelly Fertel, GSC, 4:47.53
  3. Emma Barksdale, GAME, 4:48.89

Melanie Margalis showed the benefits of scratching the 200 free with a big performance in the 400 IM, winning by almost six seconds in 4:41.57. That falls just over a second shy of her season-best set in January (4:40.31) which ranks her 18th in the world for the season.

Kelly Fertel (4:47.53) and Emma Barksdale (4:48.89) both had small adds from the morning to take second and third. Vanessa Pearl (4:49.49) and Rosie Zavaros (4:54.10) took fourth and fifth to give University of Florida swimmers three spots inside the top-5 (with Fertel being the other).

Men’s 400 IM Final

  • Meet Record: 4:14.66, Jay Litherland, 2016
  1. Gunnar Bentz, DYNA, 4:21.38
  2. Robert Finke, SPA, 4:21.46
  3. Kieran Smith, RAC, 4:22.18

Dynamo’s Gunnar Bentz edged out Robert Finke in a final sprint to win the men’s 400 IM, putting up a time of 4:21.38.

Bentz, Finke and Kieran Smith all turned within three-tenths of one another heading into the freestyle leg, and Bentz and Finke edged ahead of Smith with identical 30.37 splits on the first 50. Coming home Bentz’s 28.27 outdid Finke’s 28.45 to earn the victory.

Bentz was one second off his season-best set in Des Moines (4:20.37). For Finke, this was his fastest ever swim in-season trailing only a pair of performances from the 2018 Summer Nats and one from the 2016 Junior Pan Pacs.

Smith completed an impressive double coming off the 200 free, holding strong to take third in 4:22.18.

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4 years ago

Leah Gingrich?! She must be near 30 yrs old. Cool!

Reply to  Austinpoolboy
4 years ago

She sure is “near 30”- she’s 29!

4 years ago

Dressel & Kalisz swimming the 100 breast in the same race – who would have thought that could happen ?

Ol' Longhorn
4 years ago

If it were a100 back, it would be even more shocking.

4 years ago

That’s a lot of 51s in the men’s 100 LCM fly rankings. No big standout right now, but the field is fast.

4 years ago

very huge field this year – its gonna rock this summer , thats guaranteed

Ol' Longhorn
4 years ago

But only one of them has 49 potential.

Mr Piano
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
4 years ago

Only 1 of them has actually gone 49.

4 years ago

So big swims for Kate Douglass in 100 br / 100 fly double

Reply to  SwimGeek
4 years ago

That was a great swim for Kate but compared to the 100 breast at Bloomington, not as a big deal

4 years ago

Dressel has never looked this good in season before. Not even close.

Reply to  Markster
4 years ago

Hopefully this summer even better than in 2017

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Markster
4 years ago

From the looks of the top three 200 free, the Florida guys rested more than usual for this meet. I’m sure that extends to Dressel. You realize, though, that we have a sample size of one year for “in season” —- last year. Before that, he was ramping back up in April and May after the big NCAA taper. This year there was no NCAA taper. He hasn’t been tapered since SCM Worlds. A completely different training cycle than when he was in college.

4 years ago

Dressel’s back

Mr Piano
Reply to  joe
4 years ago

He was back at Richmond

4 years ago

Really did not expect Dressel to win that one.

Like the game of thrones writers he seems to prefer unpredictability rather than what seems rational to us.

Reply to  Teddy
4 years ago

baeleb’s not unforgivable stupid tho, dont compare them pls

Reply to  Teddy
4 years ago

Are we watching the same Game of Thrones? Nothing has been unpredictable this season.

4 years ago

1:01.22 from Dressel in the 100br big drop from prelims

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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