AUSTIN, Texas, December 5. LOTS of winners at the USA Swimming winter nationals were surprised by the times they posted to get to the top of the podium, but probably none were more surprised than Ricky Berens, the winner of the 200 freestyle.
Berens posted a 1:31.96 on the way to a win in Austin, a lifetime best for the 24-year-old. Berens used superb underwater dolphin kicks off each wall, especially in the back half, to beat one of the world's best underwater swimmers, Ryan Lochte, as well as rising star Joao de Lucca.
Watch footage of the 200 free final:
The fans might not have seen a sub-1:32 swim from Berens in Austin if he had not made the decision between prelims and finals to shave, as he detailed in his post-race interview. The key in the race for Berens, he said, was the third 50 yards, something he had been working on in training. He also talked about his two-year struggle to chase Simon Burnett's U.S. Open record of 1:31.20 and almost breaking David Walters' American record of 1:31.72.
Many more video interviews from the 2012 USA Swimming winter nationals are available on our SwimmingWorld.TV event landing page!