2022 Atlanta Classic
- Friday, May 13 – Sunday, May 15, 2022
- Atlanta, Georgia
- McAuley Aquatic Center
- LCM (50 meters)
- Start Times: Prelims – 9 am / Finals – 6 pm (ET)
- Meet Central
- Psych Sheets
A pair of individual Olympic finalists from last summer’s Games highlight the entries for the upcoming Atlanta Classic at the McAuley Aquatic Center, and they both happened to have finished in the top eight in the same event in Tokyo.
Rhyan White and Kira Toussaint, who finished fourth and seventh, respectively, in the women’s 100 backstroke Olympic final will both be competing in Atlanta, as will a number of top-tier NCAA swimmers who are fresh off wrapping up their collegiate seasons in late March.
The Atlanta Classic typically attracts some of the best swimmers in the United States, including a number of marquee names headlined by Caeleb Dressel last year, but with the U.S. Trials for the World Championships taking place earlier than usual in 2022, the majority of swimmers heading to Budapest are back home in prep mode prior to heading to a training camp in Croatia on June 4.
As a result, the psychs sheets for the Atlanta Classic are thinner than usual, but we’ve still got plenty to look forward to this weekend.
White is the lone U.S. World Championship team member listed on the psych sheets. After finishing fourth in both women’s backstroke events at the Tokyo Olympic Games, also winning a silver medal as a member of the U.S. women’s 400 medley relay, the University of Alabama swimmer placed second in the 200 back at last month’s Trials in a personal best time of 2:05.13, qualifying for the Worlds team.
The 22-year-old also placed third in the 100 back, clocking 58.59, and added another lifetime best in the 50 back (27.45) to finish fourth.
In Atlanta, White is entered to race the women’s 100 and 200 back, 200 free and 100 fly.
Toussaint, a Dutch native who recently made the move to train at her alma mater, the University of Tennessee, is only entered to swim the 100 back and 100 free. The 27-year-old was also recently in action at the JAX50 Sprint Dual Challenge in Florida.
The competition will run Friday through Sunday, with prelims beginning at 9 am and finals at 6 pm (ET) each day.
OTHER NOTABLE NAMES ENTERED
- Rising University of Florida sophomore Ekaterina Nikonova is the top seed in the women’s 100 free (54.93), 200 free (1:59.95) and sits second in the 50 free (25.39) behind Athens Bulldogs’ Zoie Hartman (25.30). Nikonova, a Russian native, only joined the Gators for the second semester this past season and didn’t score at NCAAs (with 17th and 18th-place finishes), but does have an international resume that includes three silver medals from the 2019 World Junior Championships as a member of Russia’s relay teams.
- Hartman, who made three second swims at NCAAs including a fourth-place showing in the women’s 200 IM, is also the top seed in the 200 IM and 100 breast in addition to the 50 free, and is also second in the 200 breast.
- Another UF swimmer, Mabel Zavaros, is entered to race seven events, including coming in as the top seed in the women’s 400 IM (though she’s entered with a time faster than her PB of 4:41.52, that would still rank her first overall). Zavaros recorded that time at the Canadian World Trials in early April, where she also had a pair of runner-up finishes in the 800 free and 200 fly, narrowly missing Worlds and Commonwealth qualifications.
- The men’s side features several more Gator swimmers who competed at NCAAs seven weeks ago, including Alfonso Mestre, Kevin Vargas, Eric Friese and Mason Laur. Mestre is seeded first in both the 400 free and 1500 free, though he’s among a number of swimmers that have been entered with times much quicker than their bests (To avoid any confusion, Julian Smith is not Kieran Smith despite being entered with a 1:45.32 in the 200 free). That is also the case for Vargas, who holds the #1 ranking coming in in the 200 IM and 400 IM, though his entry times (1:58.75/4:10.94) are off of his actual bests (2:01.90/4:16.54).
- One non-collegiate name that stands out on the psych sheets is Florida alumnus Mark Szaranek, a Scottish native who recently competed at the British Championships in Sheffield. Szaranek now attends the University of Stirling in Scotland and has been named to the Scottish team for the 2022 Commonwealth Games. He’s entered six events in Atlanta, including the 200 IM, the event in which he won an individual NCAA title for the Gators back in 2017.