2021 Atlanta Classic Day 2: Women’s Prelims Live Recap


Day two’s prelims session of the Atlanta Classic begins for the women this morning with the 200 fly, 50 free, 100 back, and 200 breast and 400 free.

UGA’s Dakota Luther leads the field in the 200 fly by about 3 seconds. 18-year-olds Gretchen Walsh and Maxine Parker are ranked 1st and 2nd, respectively, in the 50 free and are separated by .10. Walsh’s 15-16 National Age Group Record in this event was broken twice yesterday by TAC Titans’ Claire Curzan.

2016 Olympian Olivia Smoliga holds the top seed spot in the 100 back this morning, just under a second ahead of rising Alabama senior Rhyan White. Smoliga is also racing the 50 free during the session where she is ranked 4th. And Florida’s Vanessa Pearl is ranked 1st in the 200 breast (2:24.99). Stay tuned for a live recap and analysis.

Saturday AM Live Stream

Saturday AM Heat Sheets

Women’s 200 Fly – Prelims

  • Meet Record: 2:08.61 – Hali Flickinger (2016)
  • Wave II cut: 2:12.56
  • Wave I cut: 2:14.59

Top 10 Qualifiers

  1. Dakota Luther (Athens Bulldog), 2:10.73
  2. Izzy Gati (Kentucky Aquatics), 2:12.22
  3. Amanda Ray (Unattached-Florida), 2:12.31
  4. Summer Smith (Bluefish), 2:12.32
  5. Alex Massey (Nashville), 2:13.67
  6. Olivia Suarez (Cypress Fairbanks), 2:14.04
  7. Callie Dickinson (Athens Bulldog), 2:14.45
  8. Riley Gaines (Kentucky Aquatics), 2:15.02
  9. Allison Piccirillo (Unattached-Florida), 2:15.23
  10. Katie White (Bluefish), 2:16.08

UGA’s Dakota Luther dominated heat 5, touching the wall first at 2:10.73. Luther had a 1-second lead at the 100-meter mark which grew to 2 seconds at the 150 and nearly 4.5 seconds at the finish.

Kentucky’s Izzy Gati had to fend off 18-year-old Amanda Ray in heat 4. It came down to the touch, but Gati got her hand to the wall first to secure the 2nd spot going into tonight’s final (2:12.22) with Ray .09 behind her. Summer Smith of Bluefish and Nashville’s Alex Massey cracked 2:14.00 to round out the top 5. It should be an exciting finals race with places 2-4 separated by .10. Smith was the last one to get under the Olympic Trial Wave II cut this morning, though the top 7 finishers touched the wall under the Wave I cut.

14-year-old Olivia Suarez of Cypress Fairbanks posted the 33rd all-time fastest 200 fly in her age group, 2:14.04, to earn spot #6 in tonight’s final. This time destroys her previous lifetime best, set in August 2020, by .89.

Women’s 50 Free – Prelims

  • Meet Record: 25.21 – Simone Manuel (2016)
  • Wave II cut: 25.65
  • Wave I cut: 25.99

Top Ten Qualifiers:

  1. *Natalie Hinds (Athens Bulldog), 25.35
  2. *Gretchen Walsh (Nashville), 25.35
  3. Julie Meynen (Unattached-SE), 25.59
  4. Anika Apostalon (USC Aquatics), 25.71
  5. Maxine Parker (Athens Bulldog), 25.73
  6. *Madison Kennedy (SwimMAC Carolina), 25.74
  7. *Katelyn Mack (Nations Capitol), 25.74
  8. Talia Bates (Unattached-Florida), 25.79
  9. Gabi Fa’amausili (Athens Bulldog), 25.89
  10. Lindsay Flynn (Mecklenburg), 25.95

The 50 free was full of ties this morning with Athen’s Natalie Hinds and Nashville’s Gretchen Walsh touching the wall first (25.35). Julie Meynen snagged 3rd with a time of 25.59.

4th through 8th place are separated by less than .10, with the group led by USC alumn Anika Apostalan (25.71) and 18-year-old Maxine Parker of Athens (25.73).

This was a solid swim for Katelyn Mack of Nations Capitol who beat her lifetime best of 25.83 from the 2019 Summer Nationals to snag the 7th spot going into finals in a tie with SwimMAC Carolina’s Madison Kennedy.

All top ten swimmers cracked the Olympic Trial Wave I cut, while Meynen was the last one to get under the Wave II cut.

Women’s 100 Back – Prelims

  • Meet Record: 1:00.13 – Olivia Smoliga (2016)
  • Wave II cut: 1:01.49
  • Wave I cut: 1:02.69

Top 10 Qualifiers:

  1. Rhyan White (Alabama), 58.98
  2. Olivia Smoliga (Athens Bulldog), 59.93
  3. Lisa Bratton (Aggie Swim Club), 1:00.96
  4. Ellie Waldrep (Baylor), 1:01.14
  5. Caitlin Brooks (Kentucky), 1:01.22
  6. Sophie Sorenson (Kentucky), 1:01.34
  7. Parker Herren (Kentucky), 1:01.38
  8. Summer Smith (Bluefish), 1:01.49
  9. Addie Rose Bullock (Stingrays), 1:01.66
  10. Morgan Liberto (Alabama), 1:02.10

Alabama’s Rhyan White blasted a lifetime best time of 58.98 to earn the top finals spot. Her previous best was set at 59.66 at the Pro Swim Series one month ago. 2016 Olympian Olivia Smoliga of Athens snagged 2nd place about a second behind White. Aggie Swim Club’s Lisa Bratton took 3rd place another second behind Smoliga.

4th to 8th place will be a much tighter race tonight, though, as 4th place finisher Ellie Waldrep of Baylor and 8th place finisher Summer Smith from Bluefish are separated by about one-third of a second. Between them is a trio of Kentucky Aquatics swimmers Caitlin Brooks (1:01.22), Sophie Sorenson (1:01.34), and Parker Herren (1:01.38).

The top 8 swimmers beat the Olympic Trial Wave II cut, with Smith tying the time to the hundredth of a second.

Women’s 200 Breast – Prelims

  • Meet Record: 2:26.16 – Micah Sumrall (2018)
  • Wave II cut: 2:30.49
  • Wave I cut: 2:33.29

Top 10 Qualifiers:

  1. Gillian Davey (Kentucky), 2:30.12
  2. Meghan Small (Tennessee Aquatics), 2:30.58
  3. Brynn Curtis (Unattached-SE), 2:30.66
  4. Alexis Yager (Tennesse, University of Knox), 2:31.07
  5. Zoie Hartman (Athens Bulldogs), 2:31.24
  6. Lauren Poole (Kentucky), 2:32.19
  7. Ashley McCauley (Marlins of Raleigh), 2:33.80
  8. Hannah Ownbey (Unattached-SE), 2:34.87
  9. Vanessa Pearl (Florida), 2:35.16
  10. Vanessa Hermann (University of Arkansas), 2:35.23

Kentucky’s Gillian Davey posted the fastest time in prelims this morning, overtaking Tennesse’s Meghan Small by .46. Davey was the only one to beat the Wave II cut time in prelims. 19-year-old Brynn Curtis dropped a lifetime best time of 2:30.66, beating her previous best time of 2:31.75 from 2018 Summer Nationals

6th place finisher Lauren Poole of Kentucky and 8th place finisher Hannah Ownbey also posted lifetime bests, with Poole beating her previous best of 2:33.00 from August 2019 and Ownbey destroying her previous best of 2:36.35 from 2019 Summer Nationals.

Tennesse’s Alexis Yager and Zoie Hartman of Athens claimed 4th and 5th going into the finals tonight, separated by less than .20.

Women’s 400 Free – Prelims

  • Meet Record: 4:00.31 – Katie Ledecky (2016)
  • Wave II cut: 4:13.28
  • Wave I cut: 4:16.89

Top 10 Qualifiers:

  1. Hayden Miller (Cypress Fairbanks), 4:14.58
  2. Kristen Stege (Tennessee), 4:15.20
  3. Beth McNeese (Kentucky), 4:16.18
  4. Jillian Barczyk (City of Lafayette), 4:16.51
  5. Tylor Mathieu (Unattached-Florida), 4:16.67
  6. Kathleen Golding (Florida), 4:17.29
  7. Abigail McCulloh (SwimAtlanta), 4:17.36
  8. Olivia Anderson (Unattached-Georgia), 4:17.65
  9. Emily Hetzer (Unattached-SE), 4:17.83
  10. Aly Breslin (Tennessee), 4:18.49

Best times were flying all around in the 400 free. The biggest time drops came from Tennesee’s Kristen Stege who crushed her previous best time of 4:28.41 from July 2019. Her teammate Aly Breslin earned herself a spot in the final all the way from heat 5. She barreled down the pool on the last 50-meters with a four-body length lead over the heat, touching the wall more than 7 seconds faster than her lifetime best time from August 2019.

Hayden Miller clocked the fastest time this morning, under her previous lifetime best time of 4:14.91 from February 2020. Kentucky’s Beth McNeese also snuck under her lifetime best of 4:16.37  from November 2019 and Jillian Barczyk took 4th place by dropping 1.5 seconds from her lifetime best from August 2017.

Tylor Mathiew took a full second off the lifetime best 400 free time she posted 2 weeks ago to snag 5th.

Notably, top seed Melanie Margalis did not swim the event. Her entry time was 4:06.35

2nd seed Amanda Nunan of Tennessee finished in 11th place just outside of finals with a time of 4:18.59, about 7 seconds off her entry time.

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3 years ago

Rhyan White is officially in the conversation for both backstrokes at trials. I think Smith, Smoliga, Baker, Bacon, Berkoff, White, & Curzan will all be 58 or faster. Going to be the event of trials for me.

3 years ago

Interesting note: Hinds and Walsh tied in the 100 fly finals yesterday and again in the 50 prelims today

Reply to  swimfan210_
3 years ago

they on the same frequency

Reply to  Swimmer
3 years ago

The 4 x 100 relay spot battles will be intense

3 years ago

What was Rhyan’s best before this?

Reply to  John26
3 years ago

59.6 from Mission Viejo, and I think high 1:00 before that

3 years ago

Smoligia went 59.9

Reply to  Swimfan
3 years ago

Do you know Smoliga’s splits at 200FR from yesterday’s race? Tnx

Reply to  Yozhik
3 years ago


Reply to  Hswimmer
3 years ago

Thank you. Smolyga dropped 2sec from her last result in Mission Viejo that was pretty much her personal best. It’s a lot. Can we expect one more second down? Her splits are looking nice and balanced. But rounding them to full second doesn’t help much to guess we the possible improvement may happen. How far was her fist half from 56 sec. She is more on the sprint side and if she had 56.4 then that is where I would expect her improvement, going around 55.7.
Your information shows 1:55. I wish it was so.

Last edited 3 years ago by Yozhik
Reply to  Yozhik
3 years ago

Where are you my dear critic, S-K-D-M? Instead of flooding the comment section of this site with irrelevant and most of the time useless historical data can you help with the current information? No? Yeah, that’s what i thought.

3 years ago

Rhyan white 58.98 in prelims!!! Boom low 58 tonight???

Reply to  Swimfan
3 years ago

She was 2:07 low in the 2BK in Mission Viejo. Has dropped 0.7 In her 100 Back and about the same in her 1Fly this meet. 2BK tomorrow will be fun

3 years ago

rhyan white going sub 59 👀

Reply to  swimfan210_
3 years ago

Smith vs. Bacon vs. Baker vs. White vs. Smoliga at Trials going to be brutal

Reply to  wow
3 years ago

Maybe Berkoff too

Reply to  wow
3 years ago

Don’t forget to add curzan to the name of contender’s

Reply to  wow
3 years ago

If Regan Smith hits her taper (reference 2019 FINA World Aquatics Championships), I predict Regan Smith breaks the U.S. Open Record (58.00) at the 2021 Olympic Team Trials.

About Annika Johnson

Annika Johnson

Annika came into the sport competitively at age eight, following in the footsteps of her twin sister and older brother. The sibling rivalry was further fueled when all three began focusing on distance freestyle, forcing the family to buy two lap counters. Annika is a three-time Futures finalist in the 200 …

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