Torri Huske Picks Up Momentum Following US Open Title

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Photo Courtesy: Connor Trimble

Torri Huske wasn’t sure what to expect from herself at the U.S. Open.

But she was sure what to expect from the venue. She was at the Richmond site in the nine-site virtual meet across the country.

Having swam in one meet and a time trial during the pandemic, Huske was prepared for the lack of energy with no crowds and very few on deck during the meet.

That experience helped Huske, a senior at Yorktown High School in Virginia and Stanford commit, have a strong performance at the U.S. Open.

“It was very quiet. A lot of the energy you had to generate yourself,” Torri Huske told Swimming World. “It was nice knowing what I was walking into. It was nice having some practice (with no crowd). I am very routine oriented, so it is nice to have that routine down. Knowing what to expect is very important to me.

“I had a time trial and another small meet that had the same situations. It is kind of anticlimactic knowing it was winter nationals and it was totally different. But I expected that. Everything is different than COVID-19.”

Huske opened with a second-place overall finish in the 200-meter individual medley. Her time of 2:11.18 trailed only Madisyn Cox (2:10.49) and was ahead of Kathleen Baker (2:12.97).

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Torri Huske. Photo Courtesy: Connor Trimble

Just 11 minutes later, Huske took ninth in the 50 freestyle overall with a 25.72.

On the second day, Huske swam the 100 butterfly and finished second overall in 57.36, trailing only Claire Curzan (56.61), finishing ahead of Kate Douglass (57.43), MacNeil (57.75), who won the world championship in the event in 2019, and Regan Smith (58.09).

She then took 28th in the 100 backstroke (1:03.25), which Huske was quite excited about.

“I have never swam the 100 back at a national meet or with a taper for that matter. I dropped 3 seconds, which was awesome. I actually can’t remember the last time I swam it long course, either,” she said.

But her best performance was on the final day. She won the U.S. Open title in the 100 freestyle, finishing in 54.04, finishing ahead of Gretchen Walsh (54.37), Curzan (54.93) and Mallory Comerford (55.21).

Huske closed her meet with a seventh-place finish in the 200 butterfly (2:14.03).

“It was good to see where I am right now. Everyone is in a different place as far as training. Some people just got back in the water, so I am not sure how much the meet shows in that regard,” Huske said. “The sessions were really short. That also made it seem like the meet was shorter. I felt like I could have kept going a couple more days. It was just really tight in between events.”

Overall, Huske had several extremely strong performances, especially her 100 free. She was trying out a new breathing pattern for her freestyle stroke.

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Torri Huske. Photo Courtesy: Connor Trimble

“I think they are OK at this time. There is still a lot more that I need to improve upon. My open turns still need a lot of work. My start and my glide into the walls, a lot of things that still need to work on,” Huske said. “In the past, I have never really had a breathing pattern for my 100 free and this was the first time I have experienced that (two cycles, then a breath, followed by one cycle and a breath). Coach says it is fine if I breathe with every stroke in the 100 as long as it doesn’t affect my stroke, but we tried a different breathing pattern. I strayed from it a little bit. But overall it worked really well.”

While Huske said she wasn’t quite as fast as she’d hoped, she is in good shape heading into 2021 with a variety of events to swim at trials.

“I feel like I had to do really well because I don’t know when I will have another long-course meet until trials. I did well, but I was hoping to do even better. My events are more spread out at trials, which exciting,” Torri Huske said. “I think I am in an OK place, but I obviously need to do a lot more.”

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