Hali Flickinger on Move to Arizona State: ‘I Just Needed a Change’

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Hali Flickinger has moved her training from Georgia to Arizona State. Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

For the first time in her professional career, Hali Flickinger is swimming for a new club.

After training with the Athens Bulldog Swim Club since graduating from Georgia in 2016, Flickinger has moved west, joining the post-grad program at Arizona State with coach Bob Bowman and will be training alongside another former Bulldog in Allison Schmitt.

Flickinger confirmed the move with Swimming World.

“I am training at ASU under Bob Bowman,” Flickinger said. “I am very excited and happy for this new chapter. I am already in love with my new home.”

Flickinger had trained with Jack Bauerle at Georgia, then with the Georgia post-grad group for nearly eight years, qualifying for the 2016 Olympics in Rio and finishing second in the 200 fly at the 2019 world championships.

But after training that long in Georgia, Flickinger was ready for a new life challenge.

“I just needed a change,” she said. Now she will be training under Bowman, who knows a thing or two about training 200 butterflyers, having coached the great Michael Phelps all his career.

Flickinger has been the top 200 butterflyer in the U.S. since Rio and had the top time in the world this year, it just wasn’t in the finals at the World Championships.

She talked after worlds about working on her mental game as hard as she has worked on the physical part of swimming.

“I think I was meant to be taught a lesson. I look it as a blessing in disguise. I was obviously really disappointed in how everything ended up. But I learned more than anything I ever could have in that one race,” Hali Flickinger told Swimming World after worlds.

Flickinger, the heavy favorite in the 200-meter butterfly at worlds, won the silver medal, finishing in second behind her semifinal time with a 2:06.95 and behind Hungary’s gold medal winner Boglarka Kapas (2:06.78).

She exited the pool stunned.

“It stunk to get out of that pool, knowing what I had in me,” Flickinger said. “I learned what I needed to stop doing what I do in my head. I was the most physically prepared athlete in that race.”

Now, Flickinger is taking that preparation to Arizona State as she builds toward the 2020 Olympic trials.