Reed Malone made his long course debut this weekend in Iowa, marking his first outing in the 50m pool since the 2016 Olympic Trials, where he finished 10th in the 400 free (3:50.73) and 15th in the 200 free (1:48.85) after swimming on the 800 free relay at the 2015 world championships. After the 2016 Olympic Trials, though he didn’t want to give swimming up, Malone didn’t have the funds to keep swimming, and took his sub-optimal performances at trials as a sign that it was time to move on.
After finishing his degree at USC, Malone moved to New York to work on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, where he learned a lot and met numerous celebrities and interesting people. However, when Jeremy Kipp, his former coach at USC, hired his old club coach, Andrew Hodgson, to be on staff at Northwestern (right around the corner from where Malone grew up), it seemed a door was open. Malone took this opportunity to head back to the midwest and jumpstart his swimming career.
He said the first few months were just getting back in shape, starting at the end of August 2018. However, it seems to have worked, as Malone swam the 200 and 400 in Des Moines at the Pro Swim this weekend. In the 400, he placed 4th overall in finals with a 3:53.83 after swimming a 3:56.34 in prelims. In the 200, he touched at 1:49.97 for 10th after going 1:50.44 in the morning. In one competition, he’s already gone from no swims logged in nearly 3 years to returning to Omaha for Olympic Trials in 2020.