Katie Ledecky will headline the world swimming championships starting Sunday in Budapest, but don’t miss these Charlotte athletes who are also poised to claim the spotlight:
▪ Kathleen Baker, 20, moved from Winston-Salem to Charlotte so she could train at SwimMAC Carolina at age 14. The change paid off: Baker had breakout Olympic swims last summer in Rio de Janeiro, winning a silver medal in the 100-meter backstroke and gold in the medley relay.
Coming off a successful freshman year competing for the University of California, Berkeley, look for strong swims in Budapest in individual backstroke events and medley relay.
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▪ Michael Chadwick, 22, finished his four-year collegiate career at the University of Missouri this year, becoming the university’s most decorated swimmer. He excels at sprint freestyle events, and qualified for the 400-meter freestyle relay by placing fifth in the event at U.S. Nationals last month.
Chadwick is a true hometown favorite. He’s a Charlotte Latin graduate and son of Rev. David Chadwick, pastor at Forest Hills Church.
▪ Katie Meili, 26, seemingly came out of nowhere to win a bronze medal in the 100-meter breaststroke and gold in the 400 medley relay in Rio. After a strong, but not extraordinary, collegiate career at Columbia, Meili moved to Charlotte to train under coach David Marsh. Dedicated to her training program, the Columbia grad just kept getting faster.
Meili should be a top contender in the sprint breaststroke events.
▪ Tim Phillips, 26, a graduate of Ohio State University, earned a spot on his second world championships team in the sprint butterfly events. After just missing a berth on the Olympics team last summer at the U.S. trials, Phillips told SwimSwam he was determined to compete at this year’s world championships.
In the final moments of the 100-meter butterfly at last month’s qualifying meet, Phillips told the swimming news outlet, “I just kind of put my head down and said, ‘Not this time.’”
Want to watch?
NBC’s Olympic Channel will air daily coverage of the world swimming championships in Budapest from Sunday through July 30.
▪ Heats will air at 3:30 a.m. and finals at 11:30 a.m. daily on the Olympic Channel.
▪ Finals will air at 11:30 a.m. Mon.-Fri. on NBCSN.
▪ Finals will air on NBC at 2 p.m. July 30.