Huske Goes Ham on Day 2 of the 2023 U.S. Open

2023 U.S. OPEN SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS

Last season, the Stanford Cardinal had two of the best butterfliers in the world on their roster in Claire Curzan and Torri Huske.

After NCAAs, both announced that they would sit out the 2023-2024 collegiate season, but that those pathways would look very different. Curzan originally said she would spend that time with her home club the TAC Titans preparing for Paris before eventually transferring to the defending NCAA Champions Virginia, where she is now training.

Huske, though, decided to stick with Stanford – as embattled of a program that a program could possibly be after finishing 3rd at the NCAA Championships.

But Huske’s gamble appears to be paying off so far. Part of a wave of success that has run through Greg Meehan‘s program this fall, she swam lifetime bests in two primary events on Thursday evening just 25 minutes apart.

First came a 2:09.10 in the 200 IM, which beat her 2:09.75 from US Trials in July. The big moment there was a 37.64 breaststroke split that was competitive with a field of really good breaststrokers, and her best breaststroke split by half-a-second (accounting for most of that time drop).

That’s going to be a really difficult event for her to make the Olympic Team in, but a 2:09.10 in December gives her reason enough to swim it in Indianapolis in June, and a puncher’s chance against the likes of Kate Douglass (2:08.46) and Alex Walsh (2:08.96), who beat her on Thursday in Greensboro.

Just a few heats later, she finished tied for 2nd in the 50 free – again behind Douglass (24.38 – another Championship Record) and matching Abbey Weitzeil, who was the US National Champion, with twin 24.41s.

The 50 free is always a crapshoot of an event, and an on-form Curzan (she was 8th on Thursday in 24.92) muddies the water further, but Huske knocking a few hundredths off her best of 24.44 from 2021 is encouraging – a first best time in more than 31 months in that race. She was 24.72 at Trials, a meet where overall she swam very well.

So this now raises the green flag for her 100 fly swim on Friday, an event where she was the World Champion in 2022 and placed 3rd in 2023 (56.61, Zhang Yufei won in 56.12).

In a very mixed bag of results for the Stanford women in the last few years, Huske has always been a consistent bright spot for the team – a beacon to fall back on. But still, her early returns from the decision to take the Olympic redshirt are showing that the decision was a good one, so far.

If she can go a personal best in the 100 fly, that will further affirm the choice, and maybe even make her a favorite for Paris. Besides the obvious scale of what that would mean for her career, she would then return to a Stanford team that is building momentum this year in collegiate competition, accelerating the rebuild after some big graduations, transfers, and professionalizations since COVID.

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RMS
2 months ago

Where’s the relay names commenter? Would be interesting to hear their take on Torri’s improvement under Meehan.

kurtmillshanson
2 months ago

One of the leading swimming reporters in the world referring to the 50 free as “always a crapshoot of an event.” is shocking to me. Is the 100 metre dash on the track a crapshoot? This archaic narrative in the swimming world that the 50 free is some sideshow event & doesn’t hold the same weight as any other race or distance has to end.

Wahooswimfan
2 months ago

“goes ham” – what the he k does that mean?

Michigan Fan
Reply to  Wahooswimfan
2 months ago

Seriously I read “goes home” and I’m confused about the expression “goes ham” (relieved she didn’t go home!)

Michigan Fan
Reply to  Michigan Fan
2 months ago

Oh ok. Just looked it up on UD. I guess you can detect how engaged w youth culture someone is based on their comments/questions!

Towelie
Reply to  Wahooswimfan
2 months ago

Hard as a MFer

gitech
2 months ago

Huske IS WoW

Kabes
2 months ago

4 girls under 2:10

mds
Reply to  Kabes
2 months ago

5 under 2:10. Douglass, AWalsh, Huske, Gorbenko, RSmith
4 Americans, one Israeli.

I miss the ISL
2 months ago

I’m proud of her, but I can not understand why she doesn’t wear a Stanford cap at these meets, considering that’s where she trains? Is it tradition for AAC swimmers to wear their caps at these meets? Is it a Meehan rule that she can’t wear Stanford unless she’s at a Stanford meet? When Claire was at Stanford she always wore TAC caps at trials and stuff too. I’m confused.

Happy Slappy
Reply to  I miss the ISL
2 months ago

They wear the cap of the team who pays for the trip. Look at all of the NYAC swimmers…you think they all train at NYAC?

swimdad
Reply to  Happy Slappy
2 months ago

Not accurate. Torri is a National team member and gets travel expenses etc. paid by USA swimming. Swimmers usually enter as club swimmers to get USA Club Excellence points for their childhood team One club even pays swimmers to enter under their club even though they have never trained with the club.

Torri Stan
Reply to  I miss the ISL
2 months ago

I think she wears her local club cap because it gives the club some free advertising and also to show support for her hometown community.

Stanford isn’t really in as much need of exposure.

Mike Denes
Reply to  Braden Keith
2 months ago

Can you please say a few words about NYAC? What does NYAC gain by having a bunch of swimmers, who have never trained with them, wear their cap? And what’s in it for the swimmers to wear NYAC caps?

Last edited 2 months ago by Mike Denes
Swammer
2 months ago

Huske may be able to challenge A. Walsh for a spot in Paris.

I miss the ISL
Reply to  Swammer
2 months ago

I can’t see it. Walsh tapers really well. I just can’t imagine Huske hanging on enough on the back and br with a tapered Walsh to be able to run her down on freestyle, no matter how much her br has improved. It’d be cool if she proved me wrong, but it’s hard for me to vision right now.

green
Reply to  I miss the ISL
2 months ago

I mean, huske beat walsh at ncaas. I think both have proven themselves equally good at lc vs bathtub. So it should be pretty easy to imagine.

Chris D
2 months ago

I hate to say this but the 2 IM is a long shot for her. BUT, she is dangerous. Dougie and Alex (and Hayes) are deadly.

I think she can take down the world record in the 1 fly.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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