Still, the 17-year-old took a big step forward last week when she announced her commitment to Stanford, the three-time reigning NCAA women’s champion.
Huske also considered Virginia, Duke and Florida.
“I feel like going into it, I kept a pretty open mind,” Huske said. “My parents would ask me which was my favorite, but I wasn’t dead set on any one school. I wanted to make sure I fit in with the team and felt at home on the campus.”
When she visited Stanford last fall, everything clicked. She loved the California setting, but more than that she appreciated the culture fostered by Coach Greg Meehan and assistant coach Tracy Slusser. As she observed Cardinal swimmers in a weight training session, she could sense their drive and camaraderie.
“They were doing circuits in the weight room, a really hard set, and if someone messed up or dropped a weight, they would have to restart,” Huske said. “But they were all so positive and encouraging with each other. You could just tell how much they all cared for each other.”
When she heads to Stanford in 2021, Huske will follow in the strokes of another elite D.C. area swimmer — two-time Olympian Katie Ledecky, who led the Cardinal to NCAA titles in 2017 and 2018 before going pro.
For now, Huske, a two-time All-Met Swimmer of the Year, will focus on her own Olympic dreams, even though they have been deferred. The Tokyo Games have been rescheduled for next July and August, though the pandemic could threaten that timetable, too.
She already has qualified for six events at the Olympic trials, now scheduled for June 2021: the 50-, 100- and 200-meter freestyle; the 100- and 200-meter butterfly; and the 200-meter individual medley.
Her best race, the 100-meter butterfly, also represents her best chance at an Olympic bid. She placed first in the event at the U.S. Open in December 2019 with a time of 57.48 seconds, beating Olympic gold medalist Kelsi Dahlia.
Huske spent 80 days away from regulation-sized pools this spring due to pandemic-related shutdowns, but she stayed in shape with an intense out-of-water exercise regimen, including 45 minutes each on an exercise bike and a rowing machine every morning and again every night. She also worked out in the backyard pool of a family acquaintance. She is now back in regulation-sized pools.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen in the future or when my next meet will be,” Huske said. “Everything is kind of up in the air. So right now I’m focusing less on time goals. I’m just taking it a day at a time.”
St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes guard Chase Beasley committed to the Air Force Academy late last month. The rising senior played a pivotal role for the Interstate Athletic Conference champion Saints last winter.
Michigan prep star Emoni Bates, ranked as the No. 1 player in the Class of 2022, committed to Michigan State last month. Some experts have heralded Bates as the best high school prospect since LeBron James. It remains to be seen whether Bates will ever step foot on campus in East Lansing, as the NBA could be an option by the time he graduates high school.
Former Hylton star Ricky Slade, after two years at Penn State, announced he will be transferring to Old Dominion. The former All-Met running back racked up 471 yards on 92 carries with the Nittany Lions and entered the transfer portal in February.
DeMatha linebacker Greg Penn is set to announce his college decision Sunday. The four-star 2021 prospect announced a final six in April: Maryland, Alabama, LSU, Tennessee, South Carolina and Texas A&M.
Michael Errigo contributed to this report.