Produced by Coleman Hodges
Olivia Smoliga had a rough end to her sophomore year last year at the NCAA championships. Unable to repeat as NCAA champion in the 50-yard freestyle the sophomore looked to the summer for redemption. Smoliga bounced back competing at the Pan American games setting a new games record in the 100 backstroke as well as competing in the finals of the 100 backstroke and 50 freestyle at Nationals later that summer.
Smoliga posted three sub 22 second 50 yard freestyles on day one of the UGA Invitational including the fastest time in the country at 21.82 during the friday session. Smoliga would finish the meet winning the 100 freestyle (47.69) and finishing second in the 100 backstroke (51.50) behind Courtney Bartholomew’s nation-leading time of 50.85. All three swims were NCAA automatic qualifying times for the lady bulldog’s junior. Smoliga would end the weekend combining with Meghan Raab, Brittany MacLean, and Hali Flickinger to post the nation’s fastest 400 freestyle relay (3:13.46).
We were able to catch up with Smoliga on night two of the UGA Invitational with the Glenview native feeling confident about the year ahead.