2023 SPEEDO Atlanta Classic: Day 1 Prelims Live Recap

2023 SPEEDO ATLANTA CLASSIC

We’ve been waiting all week for the 2023 SPEEDO Atlanta Classic to kick off, and the moment is finally here. The star-studded meet at the McAuley Aquatic Center will feature the 200 free, 100 breast, 100 fly, and 400 IM this morning.

Of course, all eyes are on Caeleb Dressel, who is making his return to racing after taking a break from the sport following the World Championships last June. The 26-year-old Dressel is entered in the 200 free and 100 fly this morning, so it will be interesting to see if he ends up racing both events. He’s seeded with a 53.75 in the 100 fly, which is well off his personal best of 49.45, which also stands as the World Record in the event. Tonight could turn out to be a very exciting race in the final of the 100 fly, as Dressel will likely be going up against Canadian Record holder Josh Liendo, who enters the meet as the top seed with a 50.36.

We’ll also be keeping a close eye on NCAA superstar Kate Douglass, who is entered in a pair of events this morning as well. Douglass will first be racing the women’s 100 breast, where she is entered with a yards time, but don’t let the fool you. She’s hinted that she’s focusing on the 200 breast as a primary event as she trains to make the 2024 Olympic Team next summer, so we’ll get some insight into how her LCM breaststroke is coming along today in the 100.

Douglass is also set to race the women’s 100 fly, which ought to be a really fun race. The NCAA Record holder in the yards 100 fly, Douglass comes in as the second seed in the event this morning, sitting behind 16-year-old Summer McIntosh, who comes in as the top seed. McIntosh and Douglass are actually swimming the same schedule today, as the 400 IM World Record holder is forgoing that event today and is racing the 100 breast instead.

We can’t forget about Katie Ledecky either. The legendary freestyler is the top seed in the women’s 200 free this morning by a huge margin.

WOMEN’S 200 FREESTYLE – PRELIMS

  • American Record: 1:53.61, Allison Schmitt (2012)
  • US Open Record: 1:54.13, Summer McIntosh (2023)

TOP 8 QUALIFIERS:

  1. Katie Ledecky (GSC) – 1:57.29
  2. Izzy Ivey (UNA-FL) – 2:00.65
  3. Jillian Barczyk (COLA) – 2:01.44
  4. Emma Weyant (UNA-FL) – 2:01.65
  5. Sloane Reinstein (PASA) – 2:01.69
  6. Addison Sauickie (SYS) – 2:02.11
  7. Kate McCarville (TENN) – 2:02.58
  8. Sophia Knapp (TIDE) – 2:02.78

To no surprise, Katie Ledecky led prelims of the women’s 200 free handily this morning. The freestyle superstar posted a very solid morning swim of 1:57.29, looking very much in control of her race from start to finish. That’s borne out by her splitting, which was very consistent. Ledecky got out to a 27.96 on the first 50, then split 29.69, 29.89, and 29.75 respectively on the three remaining 50s. She was out in 57.65 on the first 100 and back in 59.64, keeping her 100 splits just within two seconds of each other. Ledecky’s fastest time of 2023 is a 1:54.96 and based off this morning’s swim, it seems like she could be right around that tonight.

Florida had a strong showing in the event, with Izzy Ivey taking second overall with a 2:00.65 and Emma Weyant coming in fourth at 2:01.65. Both women have been under 2:00 in the event before and are now well-placed to get under that mark tonight in finals.

Georgia’s Jillian Barczyk had a very strong swim this morning as well. Barczyk came in third at 2:01.44, which is well within a second of her lifetime best of 2:00.78, which she set back in May of 2021. Similarly, UGA teammate Sloane Reinstein clocked a lifetime best this morning en route to making the ‘A’ final tonight, touching fifth with a 2:01.69. With that swim, Reinstein clipped her previous personal best by 0.12 seconds.

MEN’S 200 FREESTYLE – PRELIMS

  • American Record: 1:42.96, Michael Phelps (2008)
  • US Open Record: 1:44.10, Michael Phelps (2008)

TOP 8 QUALIFIERS:

  1. Kieran Smith (RAC) – 1:46.84
  2. Zane Grothe (UN-SE) – 1:50.39
  3. Jake Mitchell (UNA-FL) – 1:50.60
  4. Joaquin Vargas (TENN) – 1:50.69
  5. Alfonso Mestre (UNA-FL) – 1:50.94
  6. Michael Bonson (AU) – 1:50.99
  7. Bobby Finke (SPA) – 1:51.51
  8. Reese Braznell (ABSC) – 1:51.87

Kieran Smith turned in a very fast prelims swim this morning, roaring to the top seed for tonight’s final with a 1:46.84. Smith was absolutely dominant in the event this morning, finishing as the only swimmer in the field under 1:50. On top of that, the performance stands as Smith’s fastest of 2023, as well as his first time under 1:47 this calendar year. Smith’s lifetime best is 1:44.74, which he swam at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

There’s a very tight field behind Smith, as Zane Grothe, Jake Mitchell, Joaquin Vargas, Alfonso Mestre, and Michael Bonson all went 1:50-point. Keep an eye on Mitchell tonight, as he has a personal best of 1:46.90 in the 200 free and he established that time less than a year ago, at the 2022 Summer Nationals in Irvine.

WOMEN’S 100 BREASTSTROKE – PRELIMS

  • American Record: 1:04.13, Lilly King (2017)
  • US Open Record: 1:04.45, Jessica Hardy (2009)

TOP 8 QUALIFIERS:

  1. Kate Douglass (NYAC) – 1:07.49
  2. Zoie Hartman (ABSC) – 1:10.14
  3. Hazal Ozkan (WA) – 1:10.38
  4. Josephine Fuller (TENN) – 1:10.66
  5. Katie Christopherson (SA) – 1:10.90
  6. Brynn Curtis (AU) – 1:11.00
  7. Alexis Yager (TNAQ) – 1:11.19
  8. Summer McIntosh (SYS) – 1:11.12

Kate Douglass was in a league of her own in a few different ways this morning. Firstly, she swam in the second heat because she was seeded with a yards time, and it was clear from the first strokes that she was going to blow her heat away. In the end, Douglass finished in 1:07.49, which would turn out to be the only sub-1:10 performance of the morning, giving her a clear path to victory tonight.

Moreover, Douglass’ swim stands as a lifetime best for the 21-year-old. Her previous best of 1:08.51 was set back at the 2019 Summer Nationals, when Douglass was 17 years old. According to the USA Swimming database, this was the first time Douglass has officially raced the LCM 100 breast since her best time performance at the 2019 Summer Nationals meet.

Zoie Hartman was next in this morning, clocking a 1:10.14. Hartman’s lifetime best in the event is 1:07.37, a time which she, coincidentally, also established at 2019 Summer Nationals.

Tennessee’s Josephine Fuller posted a new lifetime best of 1:10.66 en route to qualifying for the ‘A’ final tonight, dipping under 1:11 for the first time in her career.

Summer McIntosh snuck into the ‘A’ final by virtue of an eighth place finish this morning. The Canadian teenage superstar was a little less than a second off her personal best this morning, so we’ll see what more she has in store for us tonight.

MEN’S 100 BREASTSTROKE – PRELIMS

  • American Record: 58.14, Michael Andrew (2021)
  • US Open Record: 58.14, Michael Andrew (2021)

TOP 8 QUALIFIERS:

  1. Matt Fallon (ABSC) – 1:01.87
  2. Aleksas Savickas (UNA-FL) – 1:02.20
  3. Michael Houlie (TENN) – 1:02.46
  4. Joao Victor Caballero (UN-GA) – 1:02.93
  5. Raphael Rached Windmuller (UNA-FL) – 1:03.32
  6. Arie Voloschin (DYNA) – 1:04.53
  7. Daniel King (AAAA) – 1:04.91
  8. Connor Haigh (TWS) – 1:05.25

Matt Fallon had things rolling this morning in prelims of the men’s 100 breast. The 20-year-old posted the top time of the morning with a 1:01.87, touching just 1.12 seconds off his lifetime best in the event. Fallon’s personal best of 1:00.75 was set at Summer Nationals last July. Primarily a 200 breaststroker, Fallon split his race very tightly this morning, going 29.55 on the first 50, then coming home in a speedy 32.32.

Aleksas Savickas, Michael Houlie, and Joao Victor Caballero were all 1:02-point this morning, setting themselves up to challenge Fallon in the middle of the pool in tonight’s final.

WOMEN’S 100 BUTTERFLY – PRELIMS

  • American Record: 55.64, Torri Huske (2022)
  • US Open Record: 55.66, Torri Huske (2021)

TOP 8 QUALIFIERS:

  1. Kate Douglass (NYAC) – 58.33
  2. Summer McIntosh (SYS) -59.27
  3. Callie Dickinson (ABSC) – 59.65
  4. Natalie Hinds (GSC) – 59.90
  5. Leah Gingrich (KA) – 1:00.11
  6. Addison Reese (LAKR) – 1:01.34
  7. Abigail Gibbons (AU) – 1:01.73
  8. Lexie Mulvihill (AU) – 1:01.74

In a tough double, Kate Douglass managed to go two-for-two, clocking the top time of the morning in the women’s 100 fly after doing so in the 100 breast, the previous women’s event. Douglass posted a very solid morning swim of 58.33, which marked the top time of the morning by nearly a full second.

Coincidentally, it was 16-year-old Summer McIntosh who came in second in the 100 fly this morning. McIntosh was also in the 100 breast this morning, where she qualified for the ‘A’ final as well. Her turnaround between the 100 breast and 100 fly was about two minutes shorter than Douglass’ this morning.

Callie Dickinson and Natalie Hinds were both under 1:00 as well this morning, while Leah Gingrich was right on the doorstep, having finished fifth in 1:00.11.

MEN’S 100 BUTTERFLY – PRELIMS

  • American Record: 49.45, Caeleb Dressel (2021)
  • US Open Record: 49.76, Caeleb Dressel (2021)

TOP 8 QUALIFIERS:

  1. Josh Liendo (UNA-FL) – 52.16
  2. Martin Espernberger (TENN) – 53.46
  3. Caeleb Dressel (GSC) – 53.60
  4. Jace Crawford (UNA-FL) – 53.67
  5. Iago Moussalem (MAAC) – 53.68
  6. Kamal Muhammad (SPAC) – 53.94
  7. Ben Irwin (SA) – 54.12
  8. Wesley Ng (ABSC) – 54.61

Welcome back Caeleb Dressel! The superstar sprinter is back in action after nearly a year off from competition. He swam in the first of the circle seeded heats this morning, touching in 53.60 to win the heat. While that’s not an eye-popping time for the World Record holder in the event, it was an encouraging first swim back. His stroke looked smooth and he split the race well, going 25.38 on the first 50 and coming home in 28.22. It will be interesting to see what he does tonight in finals, as we know Dressel has the capability to be out much faster than 25.38 on the first 50.

It was Josh Liendo who clocked the top time of the morning, swimming a 52.16. Liendo looked strong throughout the race, getting out to a 24.64 on the first 50, then coming home in 27.52. Tennessee’s Martin Espernberger was right there as well, swimming a 53.46 for second place, while Dressel was third this morning.

18-year-old SwimAtlanta swimmer Ben Irwin posted a new lifetime best this morning, touching in 54.12 to finish seventh, making it into the ‘A’ final. That swim took half a second off Irwin’s lifetime best, which was a 54.62 from Summer Juniors last August.

WOMEN’S 400 IM – PRELIMS

  • American Record: 4:31.12, Katie Anderson (Hoff) (2008)
  • US Open Record: 4:28.61, Summer McIntosh (2022)

TOP 8 QUALIFIERS:

  1. Mabel Zavaros (UNA-FL) – 4:43.34
  2. Emma Weyant (UNA-FL) – 4:45.52
  3. Alexis Yager (TENN) – 4:51.50
  4. Mia Abruzzo (PWAC) – 4:51.69
  5. Hannah Ownbey (AU) – 4:52.71
  6. Gracie Weyant (SYS) – 4:54.98
  7. Sienna Angove (SYS) – 4:56.91
  8. Anna Auld (UNA-FL) – 4:58.46

The Florida duo of Mabel Zavaros and Emma Weyant was fantastic this morning in the women’s 400 IM prelims, posting the top times by a wide margin. Zavaros had an excellent morning swim, clocking a 4:43.34, which comes in less than two seconds off her lifetime best of 4:41.52, which she swam at the Canadian Trials last April.

Weyant wasn’t far behind Zavaros’ time this morning, swimming a 4:45.52. The Tokyo 2020 Olympic silver medalist in the event, Weyant has been as fast as 4:32.76, which she swam to earn that silver medal almost two years ago.

Weyant’s younger sister, Gracie Weyant, who swims for Sarasota Sharks, also made the ‘A’ final for tonight, swimming a 4:54.98 for sixth this morning.

MEN’S 400 IM – PRELIMS

  • American Record: 4:03.84, Michael Phelps (2008)
  • US Open Record: 4:05.25, Michael Phelps (2008)

TOP 8 QUALIFIERS:

  1. Bobby Finke (SPA) – 4:25.70
  2. Mason Laur (UNA-FL) – 4:26.07
  3. Jack VanDeusen (UNA-FL) – 4:30.31
  4. Giovanni Linscheer (UNA-FL) – 4:31.95
  5. Peter Bretzmann (UNA-FL) – 4:33.41
  6. Amadeusz Knop (SYS) – 4:34.23
  7. Cooper McDonald (DYNA) – 4:34.31
  8. Nathan Jacobbe (MTRO) – 4:36.87

Bobby Finke led the way in the men’s 400 IM this morning with a 4:25.70. It was a relaxed swim for Finke, who has been as fast as 4:10.57 in the event. Finke’s personal best was set at the International Team Trials last April.

The University of Florida is out in full force in the ‘A’ final tonight. Finke is, of course, a member of the pro group, while Florida Gators Mason Laur, Jack VanDeusen, Giovanni Linscheer, and Peter Bretzmann all made the top eight this morning as well.

Kieran Smith, the top seed in the 200 free for tonight, was seeded second in the 400 IM this morning but Declared False Start (DFS).

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KPS
22 days ago

Wow UF went 1-6 in the IM this morning, if you’re willing to count Amadeusz as a gator a little early

SKOOOOOO
22 days ago

Liendo 51.7
Dressel 51.8

Sam M
Reply to  SKOOOOOO
22 days ago

Correct to the tenth of a second for liendo, nice!

Sam M
23 days ago

Finals predictions
200 free
Ledecky – 1:55.72

Smith – 1:45.93
Mitchell – 1:48.26

100 breast
Douglass – 1:06.83
McIntosh – 1:10.14

100 fly
Douglass – 57.91
McIntosh – 58.62

Liendo – 51.65

400 IM
Finke – 4:20.38

snailSpace
Reply to  Sam M
23 days ago

Very cautious predictions… I think Smith will be 1:45 mid.

Last edited 23 days ago by snailSpace
Sam M
Reply to  snailSpace
22 days ago

True I try to estimate slower than faster

K Devine
Reply to  Sam M
23 days ago

Weyant – 4:38.00

Sam M
Reply to  K Devine
22 days ago

I think Emma Weyant will be 4:40.21 for the 400 IM

Last edited 22 days ago by Sam M
Sam M
Reply to  Sam M
22 days ago

400 IM actual results –
Emma weyant – 4:39.32

Sam M
Reply to  Sam M
22 days ago

200 free actual results-
Ledecky – 1:55.63
Smith – 1:47.62
Mitchell – 1:48.09

Sam M
Reply to  Sam M
22 days ago

100 breast actual results
Douglass – 1:07.07
McIntosh – 1:10.77

Sam M
Reply to  Sam M
22 days ago

100 fly actual results
Douglass – 57.19
McIntosh – 57.86

Sam M
Reply to  Sam M
22 days ago

Liendo – 51.79

Awsi Dooger
23 days ago

That’s the first time I’ve ever seen Douglass do a short stroke to finish, in either butterfly or breaststroke. Very odd to do it in a butterfly prelim, especially since it was so tight to the wall I’m not sure it helped her.

But it’s evidence she knows she needs to work on that aspect, as opposed to her typical long glide finish. Douglass nearly gave away the 100 butterfly final at NCAAs with a long glide that enabled McNeil to cut the gap.

Octavio Gupta
23 days ago

SM fans in shambles

Coach T
23 days ago

Is it possible to list all 10 A-finalists instead of just 8?

Breezeway
23 days ago

Summer has that Cate Campbell like start.

Riser
Reply to  Breezeway
23 days ago

Definitely a work in progress for her.

tea rex
23 days ago

Are Liendo and Dressel training together now?

This Guy
Reply to  tea rex
23 days ago

I would certainly think so at least for some practices

tea rex
Reply to  This Guy
23 days ago

I bet that’s nasty.

Dan
Reply to  tea rex
23 days ago

or Nesty?

Aquajosh
Reply to  tea rex
23 days ago

They have been for months.

Octavio Gupta
Reply to  tea rex
23 days ago

They also shower together after practice (with suits on, of course)