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Virginia swimmer beats Olympic record at US trials

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An 18-year-old Arlington Aquatic Club swimmer from Virginia broke an Olympic record in the 100-meter butterfly by less than half a second over the weekend.

Torri Huske surpassed the American Olympic record for the event by two-tenths of a second at the Olympic trials in Omaha, Nebraska, finishing in 55.78 seconds on Sunday night.

“Huske in [lane] 4 is ahead and will touch first. And an American record: 55.78,” play-by-play commentator Mike Tirico said as Huske finished the race.

The previous record of 55.98 seconds belonged to seven-time medalist Dana Vollmer, who set it at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

Huske was closely followed by 16-year-old Claire Curzan, who is predicted to make the Olympic team for the event in Tokyo. Curzan finished half a second behind Huske. Each country may send two swimmers per event to the Tokyo Olympics.

In the first major meet of her junior year of high school, Huske, who is preparing to swim competitively at Stanford University in the fall, won four events at Northern Virginia’s 2019 6A Regional Championships, setting new records in three of them. At the 2019 World Junior Swimming Championships, she helped the United States win the gold medal in three team events and won gold medals for herself in two events, along with one silver.

In the months leading up to the trials, Huske faced difficulty finding adequate places to swim, according to the Washington Post. Pandemic-related restrictions and decisions drove most local pools to stay in a 25-yard setup rather than switch to the Olympic standard of 50 yards, so Huske was only able to swim in short-form pools.

Huske and Curzan will compete in the 100-meter butterfly at the final circuit Monday night, with the two top finishers claiming spots in Tokyo.

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