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Abrahm DeVine said he never expected to make the USA Worlds team in the 200 IM last night.
After being disqualified in the 400 IM earlier this week, he knew his only shot of making the team was in the shorter event. His morning performance, however, did not prepare him for the excitement of his 1:56.79, second-place finish, and bid for Budapest. During the morning, DeVine noticed Josh Prenot a ways ahead of him during the breaststroke leg, which amounted to a gap he was unable to make up.
In the evening, however, after Prenot and first-place finisher Chase Kalisz once again surged in the breaststroke, it was DeVine’s turn to make a move. When he realized he was close to Kalisz in the freestyle leg, he was stunned–and once again stunned when he saw the number two next to his name on the scoreboard at the finish.
DeVine said he tried to keep his head down after the 400 IM, in which he fell victim–like others–to the ramifications of Lochte rule. He knew he could not take the disqualification to heart if he was to represent his country.
The 200 IM served as sweet, surprising redemption. DeVine laughingly asserted that the race–two seconds faster than his previous personal best– was mind-blowing, and that he did not have such high expectations for himself in the 200. Although he recognized that he had been working hard during practice with his Stanford training group, he did not know what his race pace would be.
DeVine is quickly learning, though, what it means to be a member of Team USA at Worlds. He loved his teammates’ responses to his bid to Budapest, and he said he is looking forward to representing his country.
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