Torri Huske Reflects on Record Year, Looks Ahead to 2020 Olympic Trials

Photo Courtesy: Connor Trimble

Torri Huske had just one day remaining as a 16-year-old — and made it count.

The teen sensation from Yorktown, Virginia, lowered her own 15-16 national age group record in the 100 butterfly on Dec. 6, pulling off one of the biggest upsets in the country this year at the 2019 U.S. Open in Atlanta.

Huske won the race from lane 1 in 57.48, holding off Olympian Kelsi Dahlia (57.96).

“Before the race, I was just trying to focus on myself and not really think about anyone else. I wanted to focus on feeling good, shaking out everything,” Torri Huske told Swimming World. “I think my adrenaline was pumping and it helped me go fast. The best swims you have are when you are excited to race. I think that is why the race was so good.”

Being in lane 1, it is impossible to see everyone, which Huske said helped her focus on her own race.

“For the most part, I can’t really see until I touch, but off my turn I could kind of see that I was in a good spot,” she said. “It just got me more excited to swim, knowing I was racing so many fast people. Kelsi wasn’t the only one there. It got me excited to swim. I always get nervous, but I usually use the nervousness.

“Going in, if you make the top heat, you feel like you belong. But everyone has different experience and was at a different point with their training. I was tapered, but I know a lot of people weren’t.”

It was a stellar final day of being 16. She turned 17 on Dec. 7, also during the meet — something she has gotten used to.

“Honestly, I have had by birthday at a meet every year. So I don’t think about it that much,” she said.

Huske was named the Swimming World High School Swimmer of the Year this year when she was the only high school girl to break an individual national high school record this year. She also broke Mary T. Meagher’s 15-16 NAG record this summer at the US Nationals, erasing Mary T.’s legendary 57.93 from 1981 that had stood as the world record until 1999.

Now she broke her own mark.

“It was definitely a big race. It is another stepping stone,” she said. “Hopefully there are more to come.”

Following her setting the record during the summer, Huske competed at the 2019 World Junior Championships in Budapest, an event that gave her some international experience heading into an Olympic year.


Torri Huske; Photo Courtesy: Connor Trimble

“I think it is really going to help. Budapest, especially because they had prelims, semifinals and finals,” she said. “A ready room is something people aren’t used to. That will help me.”

Huske has qualified for the Olympic trials in the 100 fly, 200 fly, 50 free, 100 free, 200 free and 200 IM.

“The 100 fly will be my main focus, so it is kind of nice that it is first,” she said.

After her performance against Dahlia and a strong field at the U.S. Open, Huske has put herself in the middle of a wide-open event at the trials.

“I definitely have noticed that. Some people have even said that it is pretty open compared to some others. That helps get me more motivated,” Torri Huske said. “There are a lot of younger swimmers in the 100 fly, who are up-and-coming. It is really exciting to see the future of swimming and knowing that it is getting really fast. To be a part of it is really special.”

It might be even more special at the end of the trials.

“I am feeling pretty good. I know that a lot of things can change. I have started doing some strength training to try to keep up with the pros. My turns off the wall are something I have wanted to work on,” she said. “I don’t really know what to expect but I really hope that I have a chance. I try not to think about it too much. Mostly, I just hope I have a chance and use that at motivation.”

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Dave S
Dave S
4 years ago

To clarify, Torri lives in Arlington, Virginia. The name of her high school is Yorktown.

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