U.S. Olympic Trials: Torri Huske Blisters American Record in 100 Butterfly Semifinals

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

U.S. Olympic Trials: Torri Huske Blisters American Record in 100 Butterfly Semifinals

Much has been made over the past several months about the rising tide of teenage talent in the United States. Specifically, the names of Regan Smith, Claire Curzan and Torri Huske have been frequently uttered, thanks to their multi-event ability and potential to be longtime fixtures for Team USA on the international stage.

On the opening night of the United States Olympic Trials in Omaha, it was Huske who occupied the spotlight.

Racing in the first of two semifinals in the 100-meter butterfly, Huske set an American record with a clocking off 55.78. That time erased the 2012 standard of 55.98, set by Dana Vollmer en route to the gold medal at the Olympic Games in London. The time also made Huske the third-fastest performer in the history of the event, with Sarah Sjostrom’s world record of 55.48 within striking distance during Monday night’s final.

 

Huske, the 2019 Swimming World High School Female Swimmer of the Year, carried considerable momentum into the Olympic Trials at the CHI Health Center, having performed superbly during the spring tuneup season. While she still has to complete her business in the 100 fly, she is developing major momentum for her other events, notably the 50 freestyle and 100 freestyle.

As was the case in the morning, Huske blistered the opening lap and was under world-record pace with a split of 25.96. And on the way home, the 18-year-old Stanford recruit was smooth and powerful and only expanded her lead, as Curzan registered a mark of 56.81 for the second seed in the final. Huske split 29.82 on the second lap, the only effort under the 30-second barrier. Curzan was followed in third by Kelsi Dahlia, the 2016 Olympian who went 56.91 and won the second semifinal.

“I just wanted to make it back into the top eight. I was really excited,” Huske said. “I feel like it was just really exciting. I was a little bit nervous before the race, but I used that excitement and turned it into adrenaline. It is like any other meet, just a little bit bigger.”

Curzan and Dahlia figure to bring a fight to the final, as Curzan owns the world junior record at 56.20 and looked much more comfortable than in her prelim performance. As for Dahlia, she will turn to her experience to make a run at the teens with a trip to Tokyo at stake. Meanwhile, Kate Douglass is lurking after going 57.07 for the fourth seed.

“It’s really great because we’re always going to push each otherm” Curzan said of Huske’s American record. “Seeing her go so fast, it’s really inspiring. I think it’s really cool that so many high schoolers can be so fast in this event. I think it’s really inspiring to see how fast this race will be in the future. It’s been a whirlwind, just being here. I feel like it’s been a long time coming, so I’m really happy to be here, and I’m excited for the rest of the week.”

Expected to be a factor in her other events, both backstrokes and the 200 butterfly, Smith earned a place in the final with a sixth-place mark of 57.73, just behind the 57.63 of Katie McLaughlin. However, Smith opted to scratch the final to conserve energy for the rest of her program. That decision bumped Kelly Pash (58.26) into the final.

Finalists:

1. Torri Huske, 55.78
2. Claire Curzan, 56.81
3. Kelsi Dahlia, 56.91
4. Kate Douglass, 57.07
5. Katie McLaughlin, 57.63
6. Regan Smith, 57.73 (Scratched Final)
7. Olivia Bray, 58.07
8. Aly Tetzloff, 58.21
9. Kelly Pash, 59.26