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Ackerman guns for Team USA at US National Championships

Duncan MacLean • Jul 26, 2018 at 12:15 AM

Grand Haven's brightest swimming star is scheduled to represent the Lakeshore on the nation's biggest stage this weekend.

Kathryn Ackerman, 16, will take her shot at qualifying for Junior Team USA swimming in three events at the Phillips 66 U.S. National Championships, Thursday through Sunday, at the William Woollett Jr. Aquatic Center in Irvine, California. Live stream and broadcasts will be available throughout the meet.

The rising Grand Haven junior will face the 200-meter backstroke today, the 400 individual medley Friday and the 200 IM on Sunday, entered under Michigan Lakeshore Aquatics, out of Holland.

The meet will feature the best American swimming has to offer with a field including a litany of Olympic gold medalists and five-time Olympic gold medalist and 14-time world champion Katie Ledecky; the fastest sprinter in world history Caleb Dressel; his Team USA companion Nathan Adrian; and NCAA Division 1 champions like Townley Haas, Chase Kalisz and Lily King. All these infinitely accomplished swimmers will be shooting for a fresh spot on Team USA.

In order to qualify for the junior national team, Ackerman must finish as one of the top two swimmers in an event out of the age 18 and under entrants.

Ackerman is seeded highest in the 400 IM, holding the 19th fastest time in the country heading into the meet and the fourth fastest of those age 18 and under. Her 26th seed overall in the 200 IM serves as the ninth fastest 18-and-under time, while she sits 81st overall in the 200 backstroke.

The 200 backstroke will run as the third of four events Thursday following the 200 breaststroke, while the 400 IM kicks off the Friday sessions. Sunday's 200 IM is the second event of the day, following the 1,500 freestyle.

NBC and USA Swimming will be providing live stream coverage throughout the meet.

Prelim sessions each day will be available via live stream at 12 p.m. EST at USAswimming.org.

"B" finals will run each evening at 9 on USAswimming.org, while "A" finals will live stream at NBCsports.com, also at 9 p.m.

Television coverage will be available live and via tape-delay on the NBC family of networks.

"A" finals will be broadcast live to the NBC Olympic Channel at 9 each evening.

NBCSN will air a tape-delayed finals broadcast for Thursday and Friday at 11 p.m., while Saturday's finals will air Sunday at 1 a.m. Additionally, NBC will air Saturday's finals on Sunday at 3 p.m.

Finally, Sunday's finals session will air via tape-delay Monday at 6 p.m. on NBCSN.

Following the prelim session, the fastest eight times qualify for the "A" final. The eighth-16th fastest times will swim in the "B" final, while the 16th-24th fastest times will swim in the "C" final.

The "D" final will be limited to the top 18 and under athletes that do not qualify for the "A", "B", or "C" finals.

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