Atlanta Classic Day 1 Prelims: Live Recap

2016 Atlanta Classic – Day 1 – Prelims

The Atlanta Classic kicks off this morning with world, national, and NCAA champions converging at Georgia Tech to square-off in the long course pool, in another opportunity to prepare for the Olympics and Olympic Trials.  This morning’s session features some of swimming’s most popular events, which has lead many swimmers to doubling-up on events.  Stars swimming doubles today including Katie Ledecky (200 free, 400 IM), Caeleb Dressel (200 free, 100 fly), Tom Shields (200 free, 100 fly), Maya Dirado (200 free, 400 IM), and Jack Conger (200 free, 100 fly), to name a few.

Women’s 200 Free – Prelims

  1. Katie Ledecky, Nation’s Capitol, 1:54.85
  2. Simone Manuel, Stanford, 1:59.35
  3. Shannon Vreeland, Athens Bulldogs, 1:59.86
  4. Brittany MacLean, Etobicoke Swimming, 1:59.91
  5. Hali Flickinger, Athens Bulldogs, 2:00.04
  6. Sarah Henry, Aggie Swim Club, 2:00.43
  7. Shauna Lee, Athens Bulldogs, 2:01.11
  8. Madisyn Cox, Texas, 2:01.34
  9. Amanda Weir, Swim Atlanta, 2:01.57
  10. Temari Tomley, Alabama, 2:01.80

Katie Ledecky kicked things off with a blistering 1:54.85 in the heats this morning.  This is only 0.42 off her best time which she posted in at the Arena PSS in Austin in January.  Simone Manuel finished 2nd in 1:59.35, Shannon Vreeland 3rd in 1:59.86, and Brittany MacLean 4th in 1:59.91.

Ledecky, the reigning world champion, has a reputation for swimming fast in every race, but has a record of going especially fast during finals at large meets such as this one.  Though Ledecky already has the top time in the world this year in the 200 free, her preliminary time would register as the third-fastest time in the world, behind only herself and Sweden’s Sara Sjostrom.

Amanda Weir came in 9th in the heats (2:01.57), Elizabeth Beisel in 20th (2:03.70), and Lia Neal in 24th (2:04.09).  Maya Dirado chose not to swim the 200 this morning, saving for the 400 IM.

Men’s 200 Free – Prelims

  1. Jack Conger, Unattached-ST, 1:50.84
  2. Townley Haas, Unattached-ST, 1:50.86
  3. Walker Higgins, Tennessee Aquatics 1:50.87
  4. Jay Litherland, Dynamo Swim Club, 1:50.87
  5. Jacob Pebley, Cal, 1:51.08
  6. Kevin Litherland, Dynamo Swim Club, 1:51.20
  7. Ryan Murphy, Cal, 1:51.27
  8. Matthew Adams, Alabama, 1:51.33
  9. Tom Shields, CAL, 1:51.35
  10. Sebastien Rousseau, Gator Swim Club, 1:51.38

Jack Conger posted this morning’s fastest time with a 1:50.84, barely ahead of teammate Townley Haas who went 1:50.86.  Haas, the American and U.S. Open record-holder in the 200 yard freestyle, was well off his seed time of 1:47.55, though at the NCAA Championships where he set his short course records Haas dropped nearly two full second from prelims to finals.  For Haas, the free is his only race today; Conger will have the 100 fly later this morning.

Walker Higgins posted the third-fastest prelims time with a 1:50.87, tying with Jay Litherland.  Jacob Pebley, Kevin Litherland, Ryan Murphy, and Matthew Adams rounded out the top 8 finishers, all finishing within 0.25 of one another.  Though brothers, Jay Litherland is a member of the US National team, while Kevin is hoping to represent New Zealand in Rio this summer.

Tom Shields barely missed the championship final, placing 9th with a 1:51.35.  Caeleb Dressel placed 13th in 1:52.81, while Kyle Darmody, Austin Surhoff, and Dakota Hodgson all finished outside the top-16.

Women’s 100 Breast – Prelims

  1. Molly Hannis, Tennessee Aquatics, 1:07.77
  2. Breeja Larson, New York Athletic Club, 1:08.04
  3. Melanie Margalis, Saint Petersburg Aquatics, 1:09.32
  4. Laura Sogar, Bluefish Swim Club, 1:10.00
  5. Annie Zhu, Athens Bulldogs, 1:11.17
  6. Kayla Brumbaum, NC State, 1:11.29
  7. Allie Raab, Nashville Aquatic Club, 1:11.32
  8. Emily Cameron, Athens Bulldogs, 1:11.83
  9. Vannessa Pearl, Metroplex Aquatics, 1:12.31
  10. Jaclyn Hill, Chattahoochee Gold, 1:12.57

Molly Hannis took the prelims this morning in 1:07.77, while top seed Hannah Kastigar of Grand Canyon University finished in 45th, though Kastigar’s seed time of 1:04.19 was a yards time.  Breeja Larson and Melanie Margalis took 2nd and 3rd, which sets up for a good middle-lanes battle for the victory tonight.

16-year-old Allie Raab placed 7th and went punched her ticket to Omaha with Trials cut.  Notable jumps were Annie Zhu, originally seeded 10th claiming the 5ht seed tonight; Kathryn Coughlin from 30th to 11th; and Brooke Malone who jumped into the 19th position from her 28th seed.

The second-youngest swimmer in finals tonight will be Addy Farrington of Dynamo.  The youngster did not swim faster than her seed time of 1:11.80, but her 1:13.01 was still good enough for a 14th-seed in finals tonight.

Men’s 100 Breast – Prelims

  1. Andrew Wilson, Longhorn Aquatics, 1:01.41
  2. Reece Whitley, Penn Charter Aquatic Club, 1:02.56
  3. Moises Loschi, Yellow Jackets, 1:03.07
  4. Chuck Katis, CAL, 1:03.13
  5. Wyatt Hodges, CAL, 1:03.69
  6. Brad Craig, Tennessee Aquatics, 1:03.77
  7. Derek Hren, North Carolina State, 1:04.05
  8. Cameron Conners, Unattached-SE, 1:04.15
  9. Michael Duderstadt, Auburn, 1:04.36
  10. Matthew Dunphy, 1:05.33

Andrew Wilson has continued his dominant season by nabbing the top seed for tonight’s finals in the 100 breast.  Reece Whitley followed more than a second behind to get the 2nd seed in tonight’s finals.  Josh Prenot and Will Licon did not participate in the race, leaving two open spots to be claimed in finals tonight.

Wyatt Hodges stepped up to claim one of those positions, taking over half-a-second off his seed time and hitting the Olympic Trials cut right on the mark.  Cameron Conners claimed the other, abolishing his seed time of 1:07.12 by nearly a full 3 seconds.  Conners is still about half-a-second away from a Trials cut, but perhaps the momentum of the morning swim will propel him to the 1:03.69 he needs to make it to Omaha.  Matthew Dunphy, the top yards seed, swam a 1:05.33, good for 10th this morning.

Women’s 100 Fly – Prelims

  1. Lauren Case, Chattahoochee Gold, 1:00.06
  2. Hali Flickinger, Athens Bulldogs, 1:00.27
  3. Felicia Lee, Stanford, 1:00.29
  4. Beryl Gastaldello, Aggie Swim Club, 1:00.48
  5. Christina Bechtel, Kentucky Aquatics, 1:00.93
  6. Abby Myers, Kentucky Aquatics, 1:00.93
  7. Krista Duffield, North Carolina State, 1:01.06
  8. Natalie Labonge, North Carolina State, 1:01.07
  9. Lisa Boyce, Texas Longhorn Aquatics, 1:01.24
  10. Bailey Nero, Auburn, 1:01.27

Texas-commit Lauren Case won in prelims this morning, sneaking ahead of Georgia’s Hali Flickinger.  Natalie Labonge, the 16th-place finisher from NCAA’s, swam a strong race and shaved 0.02 from her seed time to finish in 8th.  Fellow NCAA consolation-finisher Beryl Gastaldello also qualified for the A final tonight placing 4th.

Maya Dirado, Simone Manuel, both scratched the fly this morning; for Manuel it would have been her second race of the morning after placing 2nd in the 200 free.  Dirado, originally entered in the 200 free and 400 IM as well, has chosen to focus exclusively on the IM today.

The youngest swimmer in tonight’s finals will be 13-year-old Tristen Ulett who placed 26th this morning with a 1:02.32.  Though slower than her seed time, Ulett deserves recognition for being so young and competing at such a high level.

Men’s 100 Fly – Prelims

  1. Tom Shields, CAL, 52.54
  2. Joseph Schooling, Texas, 53.23
  3. Luis Martinez, Auburn, 53.46
  4. Jack Conger, Texas, 53.49
  5. Eugene Godsoe, Wolfpack Elite, 53.77
  6. Gunnar Bentz, Athens Bulldogs, 53.88
  7. Caeleb Dressel, Bolles School Sharks, 54.23
  8. David Williams, Wolfpack Elite, 54.35
  9. David Nolan, North Baltimore Aquatic Club, 54.41
  10. Abbas Quali, Alabama, 54.41

Tom Shields took the top seed away from Joseph Schooling this morning, swimming a solid 52.54.  Shields’s fly time indicates that he may have been taking it easy in the 200 free, only putting forward enough effort to get a second swim tonight.  Shields took the fly out fast, but it was more impressive that he brought home his second 50 in a 27.70, over half-a-second faster than anyone else’s second-50 split.

Luis Martinez put up an impressive morning time, especially considering Martinez finished in 30th at NCAA’s where he had a split difference of 3.27 (SCY) compared to a 3.04 in this morning’s long course race.

Schooling, who has been known to take it easy in prelims, went a relaxed 53.23, and teammate Jack Conger a 53.49.  The battle for first will most likely be between these three, though Dressel or Bentz could surprise from a middle-outside lane.

Eugene Godsoe will be the oldest swimmer in the A final tonight, but the 28-year-old showed good speed in the first 50 meters of the race, taking it out faster than everyone else save for Shields and Schooling.

Women’s 400 IM – Prelims

  1. Ella Eastin, Stanford, 4:40.70
  2. Katie Ledecky, Nation’s Capitol, 4:41.00
  3. Maya Dirado, Stanford, 4:41.63
  4. Sarah Henry, Aggie Swim Club, 4:43.89
  5. Elizabeth Beisel, Bluefish, 4:45.21
  6. Mia Nonnenberg, Alabama, 4:45.76
  7. Emily Cameron, Athens Bulldogs, 4:46.28
  8. Kathryn Painter, Kentucky Aquatics, 4:49.56
  9. Brittany MacLean, Etobicoke Swimming, 4:49.84
  10. Madisyn Cox, Unattached, 4:50.22

Ella Eastin, Stanford’s freshman phenom and NCAA champion in the 400 yard IM posted this mornings top time, and is knocking on the door of the top 25 in the world for this event.  Eastin was followed closely by Katie Ledecky, who already posted an amazing 200 freestyle this morning.  Though Ledecky’s freestyle leg was the fastest of all the women in this morning’s heats, she can probably go even faster in the final 100 tonight.

Maya Dirado, after scratching the 200 free and the 100 fly, posted an impressive 4:41.63.  Dirado was nearly 4 seconds ahead of Ledecky going into the freestyle, but Ledecky reeled her in.

Brittany MacLean showed versatility by getting into the A final tonight, and as we would expect, had the second-fastest freestyle split, after Ledecky.

Men’s 400 IM – Prelims

  1. Sean Grisshop, Nitro, 4:21.31
  2. Josh Prenot, CAL, 4:23.38
  3. Sebastien Rousseau, Gator Swim Club, 4:24.04
  4. Jay Litherland, Dynamo, 4:24.88
  5. Marton Barta, Swim Atlanta, 4:25.83
  6. Gunnar Bentz, Athens Bulldogs, 4:26.11
  7. Austin Snyder, NC State, 4:27.04
  8. Colt Williamson, Yellow Jackets, 4:27.15
  9. Brennan Day, Aiken-Augusta Swim League, 4:28.22
  10. Andrew Gemmell, Nation’s Capitol, 4:28.52

17-year-old Sean Grieshop took the top spot from Jay Litherland who slid back to 4th going into tonight’s finals.  Grieshop, strong throughout the race, used the long axis strokes to his advantage where he caught up in backstroke and then pulled away in freestyle.

All three Litherland brothers will get to swim tonight, since the top 40 finishers from prelims all make it back for the evening session.  Kevin finished prelims in 13th, and Mick in 24th.

Josh Prenot scratched the 100 breast to focus on the IM this morning, as he has a much better chance of making the Olympic team in the 400 IM or the 200 breast than he does in the 100 breast.  Already the pool record in the 400 SCY IM and known for his substantial evening time drops, expect Prenot to improve upon his morning swim this evening.

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
5 years ago

1:54? Holy smokes……..

Reply to  2Fat4Speed
5 years ago

she will break WR in 200m freestyle by this year….

bobo gigi
5 years ago

She really doesn’t know how to not swim fast. I think she tries but she’s just unable to do it. Even in prelims.

5 years ago

She was only two seconds behind Dressel. Understandable how she was ‘breaking’ guys at training not long ago.

Reply to  Friuti
5 years ago

He wasn’t suited

Reply to  Swimmer
5 years ago


bobo gigi
5 years ago

I can’t imagine there’s no live stream for the finals.
Please tell me the truth! 😆

Reply to  bobo gigi
5 years ago

Bobo- we’ll get you those race videos either way 😉

bobo gigi
Reply to  Lauren Neidigh
5 years ago

Lauren, it’s less pleasure than watching the races live. But I appreciate your efforts.

Reply to  Lauren Neidigh
5 years ago

5 years ago

At first glance, I thought I’d read the seed times instead of Katie’s prelim time. 154.85?? Hah hah. That’s insane. And a nice in 157 in prelims for a PB for Leah Smith in Charlotte.

5 years ago

Ledecky WR in Rio in the 200? She has a faster pb in the 100 and 400 than Pellegrini

Reply to  Pvdh
5 years ago

Wasn’t Pellegrini 53.5 in spring 2009? No doubt, Pellegrini was in 53 low shape in Rome.

However, I agree, Ledecky could run it close and possibly get the record. My only concern, times do not always correlate, due to stroke efficiency etc (take Sjostrom’s 100 free for example – Her 50/200 suggest she should be by far the fastest over 100).

Lane Four
5 years ago

You would think that the Atlanta meet would provide their own live stream feed. Seriously, this is a major pre-Trials competition and there are many people around the world who are anxious to see the competition.

Coach Mike 1952
Reply to  Lane Four
5 years ago

Actually, more than anxious – KEEN to see it.

Lane Four
Reply to  Coach Mike 1952
5 years ago

You said it, Coach!

5 years ago

Ledecky on a second behind Eastin in the 400 IM ????

About Reid Carlson

Reid Carlson

Reid Carlson originally hails from Clay Center, Kansas, where he began swimming at age six.  At age 14 he began swimming club year-round and later with his high school team, making state all four years.  He was fortunate enough to draw the attention of Kalamazoo College where he went on to …

Read More »