Behind Fastest American Time of Year, Carson Foster Claims Victory in 400 IM at Longhorn Elite Invite

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Behind Fastest American Time of Year, Carson Foster Claims Victory in 400 IM at Longhorn Elite Invite

Is Carson Foster now the favorite to win the 400-meter individual medley at next month’s United States Olympic Trials? The argument can certainly be made.

Racing at the Longhorn Aquatics Elite Invite on Thursday, Foster delivered a pair of superb performances in the 400 I.M., including a mark of 4:11.13 in finals that was a personal best and the fastest time this year by an American. In the morning prelims, Foster touched the wall in 4:11.56, which endured as a career-best mark for just a few hours.

Foster has long been tabbed as a future star for Team USA, and a berth to the Olympic Games in Tokyo is within reach in several events. The 400 medley, though, might be the teenager’s best opportunity. Out in 56.21 for the opening butterfly leg, Foster built an immediate lead. He went through the midway mark in 1:59.65 and covered the breaststroke leg with a split of 1:12.61. Foster came home in 58.87. Jake Foster was second, going 4:15.66.

Although Foster has built significant momentum for Omaha, which will host Trials for the fourth time, he will face serious competition in Chase Kalisz and Jay Litherland, who have been the United States’ international stalwarts in the event since 2016. Kalisz, the 2017 world champion, put together a strong tuneup last weekend while Litherland was the silver medalist at the 2019 World Championships.

A quartet of Texas standouts dipped below the 50-second barrier in the 100 freestyle, led by Drew Kibler and his clocking of 49.28. Maxime Rooney (49.33) and Daniel Krueger (49.36) followed right behind, with Townley Haas, the Team USA veteran better known for his middle-distance skill, going 49.41.

Texas A&M’s Shaine Casas was the winner of the 100 butterfly in 52.05, a time that was a bit slower than the 51.73 he produced during prelims. Coby Carrozza was the winner of the 400 freestyle in 3:52.24.