By M. Duncan Scott
FT. LAUDERDALE, FLA. July 17 – Rhi Jeffrey has recently become a member of a pretty good swim team – the Women’s U.S. Olympic Swimming team. But when she earned a spot with that team for the 4 X 200 Freestyle Relay she was already part of some other pretty FAST relays, according to recent local reports.
Before she headed to Long Beach Rhi was on Florida Atlantic Swim Team (FAST) relays that set two National Age Group records in the 17-18 yr old age group during the Fort Lauderdale International Age Group Invite attended by over 1,000 swimmers from all over the world at the end of June. She was joined by Leane Darling, Amanda Slaight and fellow Olympic Trials qualifier Natalie Pike in winning the 4 X 50 M freestyle at 1:47.57, demolishing the old record of 1:49.35 set in 1984 by a squad from Riverside, California.
The same four ladies swam a time trial after the meet concluded. The result was similar. With Natalie Pike, backstroke, Amanda Slaight, breaststroke, Leane Darling, butterfly and the always fast-closing Rhi Jeffrey on freestyle, FAST became the first group in this age group to ever break 2:00.00, touching at 1:59.18. The old NAG mark was 2:00.26, set last year by Lakeside Seahawks (KY).
Note to US Women’s Olympic coach, Mark Schubert, who will be selecting which Olympians get to swim the American relays. Rhi’s got a pretty good recent track record on relays.