2020 PRO SWIM SERIES – DES MOINES
18-year old Regan Smith wasn’t the only swimmer who was breaking records in the women’s 200 meter fly final on Thursday evening in Des Moines.
US National Teamer Hali Flickinger swam a 2:06.11 in the 200 fly that broke Cammile Adams‘ Pro Swim Series Record of 2:06.76. Adams swam that race at the 2012 Austin Grand Prix, before the name of the series was changed to the Pro Swim Series. At the time, that was Adams’ lifetime best, and it’s a time that she wouldn’t eclipse again until the 2015 World Championships.
For Flickinger, this continues a trend for her that has survived a coaching change. After the 2019 World Championships, Flickinger made the change from her longtime coach Jack Bauerle at the University of Georgia to Bob Bowman at Arizona State. Bowman is the former lifelong coach of Michael Phelps, who held the World Record in the 200 fly until it was broken last summer. At the time, Flickinger said she just needed a change, but not a training change, and she found that Bowman’s training style was the most similar to Bauerle’s among available opportunities.
That move has so far yielded good results for Flickinger. Her swim on Thursday is the 3rd-best time of her career, and is her fastest in-season time, though she’s made a habit of going 2:06s and 2:07s in this 200 fly at mid-season meets: last year, training under Bauerle, she was 2:06 at the FINA Champions Series in early June, the Pro Swim Series meet in early March, and the Atlanta Classic Meet in mid-May.
She dropped down to a 2:05.96 at the World Championships in prelims, though she added a second and took a silver medal in the 200 fly. Her lifetime best of 2:05.87 was done at the 2018 US Nationals.
Flickinger is the first swimmer globally in the 2019-2020 season to go under 2:07 in the 200 fly (followed closely by 18-year old Regan Smith, who swam a 2:06.39 for 2nd on Thursday evening, which broke the 17-18 National Age Group Record in that event.
Hungarian Boglarka Kapas, the woman who beat Flickinger at the World Championships, has a season-best of 2:09.46. The United States hasn’t won Olympic or World Championship (LC) gold in the women’s 200 fly since Misty Hyman in 2000.
Flickinger isn’t the only Bowman trainee who is having success so far this weekend in Des Moines: Allison Schmitt, the 2012 Olympic Champion in the 200 free, swam a lifetime best of 53.80 in the 100 free on Thursday evening.