MISSION VIEJO, Calif., January 28. LARSEN Jensen, 18 year-old American record-holder in the 800 meter freestyle, a 15-minute 1500 meter man and a 2004 Olympic hopeful, has taken a leave from the University of Southern California, where he was a freshman, and returned to Mission Viejo to train under his club coach, Bill Rose.
The loss of Jensen will hurt the fortunes of Coach Mark Schubert's Trojans at this year's NCAA Championships.
At Mission, Jensen joins fellow Olympic hopefuls Justin Mortimer and Chad Carvin, also top distance swimmers.
"Larsen simply made a decision that it would be in his best interest to sit out next spring semester to totally concentrate on swimming," Rose told SwimInfo.
"He needed to be comfortable, to give it (Olympic Trials) everything he's got," added Rose. "He needed to be where he could eat, sleep and drink swimming 24 hours a day."
"At this point, he is looking forward to returning to USC.'
Rose said that in the two weeks Jensen has been back at Mission, "he, Justin and Chad have really been knocking each other out."
Rose said that Mortimer has been looking particularly good in practice, and predicted he would swim "in the neighborhood of 1:48, 3:48 and 7:57" (for the 200, 400 and 800m free) at next month's USA Swimming Nationals in Florida