Natalie Hinds Speeds to Top Seed in 100 Free at Atlanta Classic; Rhyan White Strong Again

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Natalie Hinds Speeds to Top Seed in 100 Free at Atlanta Classic; Rhyan White Strong Again

The last prelim session of the Atlanta Classic featured three women going sub-55 in the 100-meter freestyle, with Natalie Hinds leading the way with a mark of 54.63. Preparing for next month’s United States Olympic Trials, Hinds has enjoyed a strong meet, as she has already tied for the title in the 100 butterfly and finished second in the 50 freestyle.

Hinds will be pushed in the final by Olivia Smoliga, who has enjoyed a spectacular weekend. Aside from going a career-best of 1:57.04 in the 200 freestyle, the 2016 Olympian produced a personal best of 58.31 in the 100 backstroke. In the prelims of the 100 freestyle, Smoliga qualified second in 54.85. Based on her time drops this weekend from prelims to finals, expect Smoliga to be considerably faster at night. The third-fastest time of the morning belonged to Anika Apostalon, who clocked in at 54.93.

Coming off a career-best performance of 58.43 in the 100 backstroke, Alabama standout Rhyan White was swiftest in the prelims of the 200 backstroke. White, who has thrown her name into the deep mix of backstroke contenders for the Olympic Trials, posted a mark of 2:08.55. That effort was nearly two seconds faster than the 2:10.44 of Lisa Bratton.

Melanie Margalis might be the United States best chance at a medal in women’s medley action at this summer’s Olympic Games and she easily secured the top seed for the final of the 200 I.M. in Atlanta. Margalis touched the wall in 2:12.52, more than three seconds quicker than the 2:15.93 of Alexis Yager.