Atlanta Classic Day 3: Prelims Live Recap


In the last day of competition in the Olympic, NCAA, and club swimming crossover called the Atlanta Classic, several stars will grace the McAuley Aquatic Center for their last morning swims. Maya DiRado will have her hands full fending off Madisyn Cox and Ella Eastin in the Women’s 200 individual medley while Will Licon and Josh Prenot will rekindle their friendly rivalry once again in the men’s race. DiRado’s psych sheet entries show a back-to-back swim between the IM and the 200 back, a situation she’s dealt with before in Mesa, but also dealing with Kentucky’s NCAA Champion Danielle Galyer will be a thrill. Ryan Murphy comfortably highlights the men’s 200 back with only teammate Jacob Pebley nearing his seed. Between Simone Manuel and Nathan Adrian in the 100 free, the action for quick swims and previews of domestic and foreign Olympic 400 free relay hopefuls are expected. Lastly, living distance legend Katie Ledecky will represent the women’s 800 free while NCAP teammate Andrew Gemmell tops the men’s 1500 free entries. Both the fastest heats of 800’s and 1500’s will be swum as timed finals tonight.


  1. Ella Eastin, Stanford, 2:13.70
  2. Maya DiRado, Stanford, 2:14.36
  3. Sarah Henry, Aggie Swim Club, 2:14.70
  4. Madisyn Cox, Unattached, 2:15.68
  5. Katie Ledecky, Nation’s Capital, 2:16.24
  6. Elizabeth BeiselAttleboro Bluefish, 2:16.60
  7. Annie Zhu, Athens Bulldogs, 2:17.39
  8. (T-8) Hali Flickinger, Athens Bulldogs, 2:18.20*
  9. (T-8) Mia Nonnenberg, Alabama, 2:18.20*
  10. Meaghan Raab, Nashville Aquatic Club, 2:18.61

Stanford’s Ella Eastin topped the morning swims with 2:13.70 and by taking out her fly leg quicker than anyone else (29.03), her opening speed will be key in keeping off second seed Maya DiRado. DiRado, touching in at 2:14.36, had a relaxed swim compared to her Mesa finals effort of 2:11.09 but will need a stronger effort in the breast as third seed Sarah Henry paced a great third leg here, 38.27. Madisyn Cox enjoyed being the front-runner out of heat 7 at 2:15.68 and swimming in a non-free distance Katie Ledecky recorded the fifth fastest time with 2:16.24.

Having posted the world’s fifth fastest time on Friday in the 400 IM, Elizabeth Beisel swam half the distance here in 2:16.60. Athens Bulldogs teammates Annie Zhu (2:17.39) and Hali Flickinger (2:18.20) finished next with Flickinger tying for 8th with Alabama’s Mia Nonnenberg (2:18.20). Lastly, Meaghan Raab of NAC caps tonight’s A final with 2:18.61.


  1. Josh Prenot, Cal, 2:03.46
  2. Jay Litherland, Dynamo, 2:03.47
  3. Gunnar Bentz, Athens Bulldogs, 2:03.83
  4. Marton Barta, Swim Atlanta, 2:05.55
  5. Sean Grieshop, Nitro, 2:05.65
  6. Mick Litherland, Dynamo, 2:05.92
  7. Andrew Winton, Swim Atlanta, 2:06.49
  8. Alexander Taylor, Swim Atlanta, 2:06.62
  9. Mark Szaranek, Gator Swim Club, 2:06.71
  10. Christian McCurdy, NC State, 2:07.38

Even with an absent Will Licon, Cal’s Josh Prenot still was forced to exert his IM dominance in the morning session as he and Jay Litherland went head-to-head with Prenot’s 2:03.46 out touching the triplet by one one-hundredth of a second. Gunnar Bentz was the last man touching under 2:04 with 2:03.83 with another Georgian, Marton Barta, taking tonight’s fourth seed at a distant 2:05.55. The other Georgia/Dynamo triplet in tonight’s race will be Mick Litherland (2:05.92), who will enter the finals in sixth as Sean Grieshop (2:05.65) sits between Barta and the second triplet.

Two more additional swimmers will represent Swim Atlanta in the finals as Andrew Winton (2:06.49) and Alexander Taylor (2:06.62) finished with just over a tenth of a second between them. Mark Szaranek of Gator Swim Club (2:06.71) and Christian McCurdy of NC State (2:07.38) will round out tonight’s top ten fastest IMers. Auburn’s Michael Duderstadt (2:07.67) almost squeaked into the A final, but was .29 short from besting McCurdy.


  1. Tasija Karosas, Unattached, 2:13.45
  2. Lisa Bratton, Aggie Swim Club, 2:13.57
  3. Hannah Moore, NC State, 2:13.79
  4. Bridgette Alexander, Kentucky Aquatics, 2:14.32
  5. Brittany MacLean, Etobicoke Swimming, 2:15.23
  6. Alex Walsh, Nashville Aquatic Club, 2:15.54
  7. Elizabeth Beisel, Attleboro Bluefish, 2:15.85
  8. Danielle Galyer, Kentucky Aquatics, 2:15.95
  9. Alyssa Yambor-Maul, Area Tallahassee, 2:17.07
  10. Abi Wilder, Bolles, 2:19.02.

DiRado’s no show in the 200 back left the field wide open for Tasija Karosas to take prelims with her leading time of 2:13.45, one of the few races near their entry times. Karosas will be pitted against Aggie Swim Club member Lisa Bratton (2:13.57) and Wolfpack swimmer Hannah Moore (2:13.79) in tonight’s final as the only three in the 2:13 second range. Representing Kentucky Aquatics, Bridgette Alexander turned in the next fastest time at 2:14.32 and will be joined by teammate and 200 back NCAA Champion Danielle Galyer (2:15.95), who finished just a full tenth of a second behind Elizabeth Beisel (2:15.85) at seventh and eighth place respectively.

Between Alexander and Beisel, Canadian swimmer Brittany MacLean took a stab at the race with 2:15.23 with Alex Walsh right behind the Georgia NCAA Champion at 2:15.54. Floridians Alyssa Yambor-Maul of ATAC (2:17.07) and Abi Wilder of Bolles will occupy the last two remaining slots in tonight’s race.


  1. Jacob Pebley, Cal, 1:59.86
  2. Jay Litherland, Dynamo, 2:00.63
  3. Ryan Murphy, Cal, 2:01.49
  4. Michael Taylor, Dynamo, 2:02.86
  5. Colt Williamson, Buzz, 2:02.94
  6. Taylor Delk, Swim Atlanta, 2:03.63
  7. Sebastien Rousseau, Gator Swim Club, 2:05.11
  8. Jason Park, Metro, 2:05.38
  9. Sean Grieshop, Nitro, 2:05.86
  10. Alex Robinson, Memphis Tiger Swimming, 2:06.06

With teammate Ryan Murphy taking the backseat in an almost effortless swim (2:01.49), Jacob Pebley enters tonight’s race with the only sub 2:00 minute swim at 1:59.86. Sandwiched between them in second is Dynamo’s Jay Litherland at 2:02.86 and finishing roughly a second-and-a-half behind Murphy is another Dynamo swimmer Michael Taylor at 2:02.86. Colt Williamson, swimming in his domestic pool, takes the fifth place seed at 2:02.94.

Not to be out shown by their in-town rivals, Swim Atlanta’s Taylor Delk put his name into the discussion by turning in the sixth fastest mark at 2:03.63 which placed just ahead of South African Olympian and Gator Swim Club trainee Sebastien Rousseau’s 2:05.11. Jason Park of Metro (2:05.38), Sean Grieshop of Nitro (2:05.86), and Alex Robinson of Memphis Tiger Swimming (2:06.06) seal up tonight’s A final.


  1. Simone Manuel, Stanford, 54.77
  2. Lia Neal, Stanford, 54.81
  3. Olivia Smoliga, Athens Bulldogs, 54.89
  4. Amanda Weir, Swim Atlanta, 54.92
  5. Katie Ledecky, Nation’s Capital, 55.33
  6. Shannon Vreeland, Athens Bulldogs, 55.47
  7. Temarie Tomley, Alabama, 55.58
  8. Felicia Lee, Stanford, 55.70
  9. Natalie Couglin, Cal, 55.98
  10. Beryl Gastaldello, Aggie Swim Club, 56.06.

Two Stanford gals and two Georgia trainees will comprise the top four seeds entering tonight’s finals. Simone Manuel posted the winning 50 free (25.21) in last night’s finals and by clocking a 54.77, she’s well on her way to sweeping the sprints. Fellow Cardinal Lia Neal was a hairs breadth behind Manuel at 54.81, but managed to put down Olivia Smoliga’s 54.89 and Amanda Weir’s 54.92. Next in line pushing over the 55 second barrier is Katie Ledecky (55.33), another solid sprint effort by the all-around freestyler.

Olympic medalist Shannon Vreeland cranked out the next fastest swim behind Ledecky at 55.47 and SEC swimmer Temarie Tomley sits in sixth. The third Stanford athlete in tonight’s final will be Felicia Lee, blasting a 55.70 to best twelve-time Olympic medalist Natalie Coughlin (55.98) who also swam adjacent to Manuel and Lee in the last heat. Aggie swimmer Berly Gastaldello locks down the tenth quickest time at 56.06 as the last swimmer in the A final.


  1. Marcelo Chierighini, Unattached, 48.66
  2. Nathan Adrian, Cal, 48.98
  3. Jack Conger, Unattached, 49.74
  4. Tom Shields, Cal, 50.09
  5. Ryan Held, NC State, 50.28
  6. Townley Haas, Unattached, 50.34
  7. Robert Howard, Alabama, 50.52
  8. (T-8) Caeleb Dressel, 50.54*
  9. (T-8) Renzo Tjon a Joe, Unattached, 50.54*
  10. Justin Ress, Marlins of Raleigh, 50.56

As the lone Brazilian in tonight’s A final – with Bruno Fratus as a no show – Auburn trainee Marcelo Chierighini capitalized on racing in the next-to-last heat with his 48.66. That’s .46 off his Brazilian Olympic qualifying Maria Lenk prelims time, but it was enough to stow away second seed and defending 2012 Olympic champion in this event, Nathan Adrian (48.98). Jack Conger had a great race swimming alongside Adrian and posted the last sub 50 second 100 at 49.74. On the other side of the pool in Adrian’s heat, Tom Shields pieced together a 50.09 with Bama youngster Robert Howard pacing him all the way at 50.52.

Ryan Held and Caeleb Dressel swam prior to Chieirighini and clocked 50.28 and 50.54, respectively, with Dressel’s effort tying Suriname’s Renzo Tjon a Joe for eight place in the A Final. Townley Haas swam a lane over from the top seeded Brazilian to register 50.34 for sixth and Justin Ress’ 50.56 will sign off on the men’s 100 free A final as the sole club swimmer in the race.


With Ledecky and the other top seeded athletes swimming their races at the start of finals tonight, Stephanie Peters of LINS stepped in for the quickest swim of the morning at 8:37.59. Peters’ nearest competitors would be Athens Bulldogs’ Rachel Zilinskas at 8:51.03 and St. Petersburg Aquatics’ Peyton Palsha at 8:52.58.


Swimming unattached, David Heron led the men’s mile swims with a 15:35.26 against TNAQ’s Alex Meyer (15:37.95) and Dynamo’s Kevin Litherland (15.43.89).

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6 years ago

Attention Ryan Murphy: you are supposed to warm up BEFORE your event, not during.

Reply to  iLikePsych
6 years ago


bobo gigi
6 years ago

If she doesn’t scratch any event tonight, Katie Ledecky has a huge schedule.
800 free
200 IM
100 free
And I always repeat that you must be the freshest possible to swim the 100 free! 😆

stay human
Reply to  bobo gigi
6 years ago

I’m going out on a limb to say Ledecky for the win in 54 low or whatever it takes to win, whichever is faster. 😉

6 years ago

The women 100 free just got really interesting. Dana Vollmer 53.5 in prelims.!!!

About Stephen Parsons

Stephen Parsons

Stephen's swimming journey has taken him all across the Southeastern United States. Starting out at the Flowood, MS based Sunkist Swim Team, he made the transition to Auburn, AL where he competed the remainder of his high school years with Auburn Aquatics. His college career began at Daytona State College under the …

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