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Sunday, February 12, 2012

INFINIT Athlete Rich Hortness Breaks Meet Record in Closing Preparations for Olympic Trial

INFINIT athlete and Olympic swimmer Rich Hortness is putting the final touches on his preparations for the 2012 Olympics in London. Weight training has been beneficial, and he is putting in super-strong showings at his recent events. Most notably, Rich's latest efforts took him to Columbia, Missouri for the Missouri Grand Prix. Now, with a new event record to his credit and a hugely successful weekend of racing behind him, the countdown to the Olympic trials in Montreal in 6 weeks is on!

Please enjoy Rich's report from the Missouri Grand Prix:

I don't know if you have been following Twitter or at least my posts from last weekend on there, but the Missouri Grand Prix was a great final race preparation meet for me. I had four races that went on over the weekend, and for the first time, I also tried to let a meet impact my training as little as possible.

We got to Columbia, Missouri after a milk run on United airlines and ended up visiting 4 airports and a van ride between home and the pool. London-Toronto(3 hour layover)-Washington(1 hour)-St. Louis- 100mile van ride. Needless to say, it was a long day. We got there a day early, and seeing as I was not going to swim a race till the Friday, I decided to lift weights to keep that rolling as long as I could. In the gym things are going well. I am consistently lifting more than I was with better technique then I had before and that is looking really good heading into this last phase (2 weeks) of training.

A quick breakdown of how things went at the event:

4x100 freestyle relay: I led it out, and considering all I did that day before getting to the pool for the race was read a book and do a warm up, we ended up being pretty ok with going 50.4 sec for the first swim.

50 freestyle: Since the advent of the new suit rules and the fact that I have not gone my "best times" since 2008, basically any time that I have swam in the last two years became the benchmark for my actual current best times. (I think that made sense) Regardless the 50 went well. I did not make the final, but I managed to do two things: 1—the first swim faster at night than I did in the morning and 2—I also went a new "best time" going even faster than I did when I was rested in December at the US Nationals in Atlanta. So, that is really exciting for me. 23.15 which is 1 second behind what the fastest man in the world did in the heat after me in the final! So, that was exciting!

100 freestyle: After basically swimming the same race that I did in the relay in the heats, I got scared that I would not be able to go much faster during the final. I was going into the final ranked 5th and going into the final racing some pretty big names. The world's fastest man in the 100 and the 50 freestyle, the world's fastest ever Relay swimmer, another Olympic Gold medalist and recent engaged, Matte Grevers, as well as National team members from four countries. So, all that to say I was pretty excited to be in the mix with some quality swimmers.

With that as the final thought to pass through my head before I shot off the blocks, I dove in and ended up getting to the 50m wall first by 0.2 of a second ahead of the world record holder :) I kept the ball rolling though the turn and pushed for home getting there in a time of 49.97 a new best time (my first time going under 50.00 without a fast suit) and second just behind Cesar Cielo who I think will win the Olympic gold medal in at least one event this summer.

Rich Grabs Second in a Stacked 100 Free Field

4x100 Medley Relay: I was so tired going into this one because it was only 15 minutes after the final for the 100. My coach told me just to practice finishing hard because it should be a walk in the park to win it. HE LIED/WAS WRONG. Our team ended up getting a little more pressure than we thought we would get from the next closest team, and it came down to the freestyle to find out who was going to win. My team mate Joe neglected to tell me that their freestyler only went a 52.00 in the final so I ended up going basically as hard as I could to put the nail in the coffin on the meet and the race. All I could remember was seeing how fast his underwater kick was off the start and then nothing again until I touched the wall in a new Missouri Grand Prix record with a split of 49.5 another swim under the 50.00 barrier.

So, all that said it was a good meet, and I was pumped to get it done and to have done well while doing it.

I have two weeks left in the weight room, three weeks in the gym, 6 weeks till trials and about a bazillion things to make perfect by the time the gun goes in Montreal.

Thanks, Rich. Everything is falling into place for an awesome showing in Montreal and beyond! Keep up with all the important events and Rich's successes on his website at