U.S. International Team Trials: Hunter Armstrong Follows World Record with 100 Back Win (VIDEO)

Hunter Armstrong; Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

U.S. International Team Trials: Hunter Armstrong Follows World Record with 100 Back Win

Hunter Armstrong admitted he didn’t sleep much after setting a world record in the men’s 50-meter backstroke Thursday night.

A good nap, though, fixed any issues that may have created on Friday at the U.S. International Team Trials.

Armstrong surged down the back stretch in Greensboro Friday night to overhaul Ryan Murphy and book another swim at the World Championships.

Armstrong’s winning time was 52.20 seconds. He was just ahead of Murphy, who led at the 50-meter wall and finished second in 52.46. Those two are the fastest times in the world this year, ahead of Ryosuke Irie’s 52.94.


That makes two Worlds swims for Armstrong, who set a world record in the 50 back. The Tokyo Olympian in the 100 back proved it continues to be an area of strength for him.

“My coach and I discussed before the race that this 100 was going to be more of a gut-check, more about executing it properly and knowing that it’s going to hurt rather than shooting for any records or times,” Armstrong said. “Just more so, swimming it the way it’s supposed be swum.”

That mentality had an unexpected effect, with Armstrong taking the swim out harder than usual. Instead of relying on the back-half punch that he rode at Trials last year, his first 50 of 25.28 (which was second, a tenth behind Murphy) put him in position to do less down the stretch.

Murphy had won the 200 back early in the week, giving him a pair of swims in Budapest.

Justin Ress had set the pace in the morning in a time of 53.10, with Murphy second, Shaine Casas third and Armstrong fourth.

At night, Ress was quicker in 52.73, the third-fastest time in the world. Casas went 53.01. But neither is good enough to get to Worlds.

Armstrong sees this swim as yet another stepping stone for a still young career.

“There’s still a lot of work to be done, and I have yet to put together the perfect race,” he said. “But this is, at this point of the meet, just training.”



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