Disclaimer: Blueseventy Swim of the Week is not meant to be a conclusive selection of the best overall swim of the week, but rather one Featured Swim to be explored in deeper detail. The blueSeventy Swim is an opportunity to take a closer look at the context of one of the many fast swims this week, perhaps a swim that slipped through the cracks as others grabbed the headlines, or a race we didn’t get to examine as closely in the flood of weekly meets.
With arguably the most important U.S. Nationals of the Olympic cycle coming up, there’s no better time for a swimmer to start heating up. Hali Flickinger is doing just that.
The Athens Bulldog pro put up three lifetime-bests at the Bulldog Grand Slam this week, beefing up her potential Pan Pacs lineup two weeks out.
Flickinger improved her 100 fly from 58.81 to 58.48, her 400 IM from 4:39.26 to 4:39.04 and her 400 free from 4:07.93 to 4:06.72. She also bettered her season-best in the 200 fly, pushing to 2:07.88 to lead the nation by a half-second. And that’s conceivably without a taper, or at least a full taper.
While none of those three times would likely put her into the top 2 in fields that include Katie Ledecky, Leah Smith and Kelsi Dahlia hogging top spots, it’s worth remembering that swimmers can qualify for Pan Pacs as third or fourth finishers in individual events. While Flickinger is most likely to do so in the 200 fly, having more events with high national ranks could give her an insurance policy in case of a 200 fly disaster, or at least earn her a second shot to swim her background events in the hopes of nabbing another World Champs roster spot.
Flickinger currently ranks 6th nationally in the 100 fly, 3rd in the 400 free and 6th in the 400 IM.
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