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Morning Notes

Opening Date Set for Aquatics Center — The new Long Bridge Park Aquatics and Fitness Center will open on Monday, Aug. 23, the Arlington Dept. of Parks and Recreation announced yesterday. [Twitter]

Local Org Resettling Afghan Refugees — “Besides Lutheran Social Services, the [Arlington-based] Ethiopian Community Development Council, the International Rescue Committee, and Catholic Charities do a lot of work to resettle Afghan [Special Immigrant Visa] holders in this area. Christy McCaw of African Community Center DC  Metro, the ECDC’s resettlement branch, says her organization needs leads on apartments that will rent to newcomers without proof of income.” [Washingtonian]

Broken Water Main Causes Pressure Problems — From the Arlington Dept. of Environmental Services yesterday: “A crew is stabilizing a broken water main that has caused pressure issues in the vicinity of Campbell Elementary School along S. Carlin Springs Road. Pressure should be returning to normal within the hour. Traffic diverted around work site. The break is on a 20-inch main. Greatest impact of pressure loss along Carlin Springs Rd from Rt 50 south to Columbia Pike and near the intersection of Wilson Blvd and George Mason.” [Twitter]

New W-L History Marker Under Consideration — “Four years after the installation of a marker celebrating the history of Washington-Lee High School was scotched by leaders of the county school system, a proposed revised marker – honoring the school now known as Washington-Liberty – is wending its way through the development process.” [Sun Gazette]

Next Community Convo with Police Chief — “Join Chief Penn and members of ACPD at the next Community Conversations with the Chief to share your thoughts on the future of policing in Arlington! Our next conversation will take place on Friday from 10 AM to 12 PM at Metro 29 Diner located at 4711 Lee Highway.” [Twitter]

Huske Signs Sponsorship Deal — “2020 U.S. Olympic medalist [and Arlington resident] Torri Huske announced that she’s signed a swimwear deal with TYR on Friday, making her the third high-profile swimmer set to begin their freshman year of college to do so. Huske, 18, will join Stanford University in the upcoming collegiate season. Terms of the deal have not been made public.” [SwimSwam]

Youth Baseball Team’s Championship Run — “Overcoming four tournament losses, the 9-under Arlington Storm Black managed to finish second in the Babe Ruth World Series. The Storm lost in the ultimate title game of the baseball tournament in Jensen Beach, Fla., by a 7-3 score, to Florence, Ala. The meeting was the fourth between the teams in the competition. About 90 minutes earlier that same day, Arlington had previously routed Florence, 11-1, to force a playback game between the two teams in the championship round.” [Sun Gazette]

Reminder: N. Glebe Road Closure — “All lanes of N. Glebe Road between Military Road and Chain Bridge Road, in the northern tip of Arlington, [are now] closed for construction… The nine-day closure is the culmination of the $10 million rehabilitation project for the nearly 50-year-old bridge over Pimmit Run, just before Chain Bridge. Between Friday, Aug. 13 and Monday, Aug. 23, crews will work to replace the entire bridge deck and its underlying beams.” [ARLnow]

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Torri Huske with her Arlington Aquatic Club coach, Evan Stiles (courtesy of Torri Huske)

Though she has been a lifelong swimmer, Torri Huske never dreamed as a kid that she would go to the Olympics.

In fact, she doesn’t even remember the race when she first made an Olympic trials-qualifying time three years ago.

But winning the 100-meter butterfly at Winter Nationals in 2019 was “the first time I considered that I had the chance to qualify and compete,” she told ARLnow.

From then until this June, she focused on making the Olympic trials, repeating a mantra that “everything will take care of itself.”

And it did.

An 18-year-old Yorktown High School graduate and a lifelong member of the Arlington Aquatic Club (AAC), Huske represented the U.S. in three races in the recently-concluded summer Olympics in Tokyo. She and her team earned a silver medal in the women’s relay, she narrowly missed the podium in the 100-meter butterfly, and her mixed medley team came in fifth.

“I’m really happy, looking back on the experience. It was a fun time and I learned a lot,” she said.

Huske recalls exploring the Olympic Village and seeing the U.S. flag flying and hanging out in her room, where she played Uno with her suitemates during their downtime.

“The village was really cool,” she said. “We weren’t allowed to go outside it, but I got to know my roommates and suitemates really well.”

Even the coronavirus-related changes did not feel strange, she said. She slept no differently on the cardboard beds, and the camaraderie in the village kept the swimmers afloat during the races.

“It was weird with no spectators, but our team did a good job creating energy by cheering and having positive energy overall,” she said.

She returned to Arlington one week ago to a hero’s welcome. This week, she’s at the beach, taking her mind off swimming before she heads off to college.

“I’ve been working so hard for so long that I need a mental break — more than physically — to be excited to work again. Otherwise, I’ll be burnt out again,” she said.

But the races will keep her motivated while she swims for Stanford University.

“I’m grateful for all my races,” she said, even the new, co-ed mixed medley race, which “was hard for me to move on from.”

One specific technical change Huske said she’ll make is improving her ability to judge her distance from the wall, a lesson she learned from her 100-meter butterfly. Other than that, her body just has to absorb this competition experience into its muscle memory for future races.

“The more you race, the better you are, and the more you know what to do,” she said.

At the Olympic level, her AAC coach Evan Stiles explains, something as small as a last-second decision to glide for a few extra milliseconds instead of taking another stroke can affect a swimmer’s rank. Read More

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Morning Notes

Mistargeted Alert Wakes Up Arlingtonians — Numerous Arlington residents from around the county erroneously received an emergency phone alert about a boil water advisory in Northeast D.C. around 2 a.m. Thursday morning. [Twitter]

Huske Talks About Olympic Experience — “By coming so close to winning an individual medal, then earning a second-place silver on a relay team, Torri Huske’s rated her recent swimming experience at the Summer Olympic Games as a success for the 2021 Yorktown High School graduate. ‘It was all a really good learning experience, and I took a lot away from the Games, like needing to work on the little things,’ Huske said. ‘The swimming was different that anything I had been to before because it was spread out over nine or 10 days. I’m very thankful for what I got to do.'” [Sun Gazette]

Amazon Pushes Back Office Return — “Amazon.com Inc. revised its back-to-office timeline again and told employees it wouldn’t resume regular in-person work until Jan. 3, according to an internal message viewed by the Business Journal. The company had set Sept. 7 as the official return date, after announcing it expected employees to be in the office at least three days per week.” [Washington Business Journal]

Youth Baseball Team in Nat’l Championship — “I write to congratulate our 9YO Arlington Storm Black team on finishing runner-up in the Cal Ripken World Series! No team in [Arlington Babe Ruth’s] 36-year history has had as successful a season… We could not be prouder.” [Twitter]

Crash Disrupts Traffic, Show on the Pike — “Crash in front of Arlington Cinema n Drafthouse. It’s delayed the start of tonight’s film.” [Twitter, Twitter]

ACPD Again Holding Community Police Academy — “The Arlington County Police Department is now accepting applications for the 25th Community Police Academy (CPA), formerly the Citizen’s Police Academy. The CPA is an educational program designed to create better understanding and communication between police and the community they serve.” [ACPD]

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Last night Olympic swimmer and Arlingtonian Torri Huske was greeted at Dulles International Airport by 40 friends and family members.

The 18-year-old Yorktown High School grad flew back from Tokyo Olympics after competing in three swimming contests, earning a silver medal in one event, as part of the U.S. women’s 4×100 medley relay team, and narrowly missing the podium in the individual 100-meter butterfly race.

From Dulles, her friends drove her almost all the way home — but just before reaching their destination, feigned a wrong turn and ended up in the parking lot of Glebe Elementary School.

There, she was surprised by the flashing lights of Arlington police and fire trucks — the latter of which had hoisted a 50-foot American flag in the air. Below were somewhere between 200 and 300 family members, friends, teammates from Arlington Aquatics Club and Yorktown High School, as well as younger AAC swimmers, her second-grade teacher and other Arlington Public Schools staff who helped the Huskes through the years.

“It was a magical night,” her father, Jim Huske, tells ARLnow.

The event was organized by the Arlington Aquatics Club, offered by Arlington’s Department of Parks and Recreation, and the club with which Torri has swam since she was five years old. Although the Huskes knew the surprise event was coming, they didn’t know how many people to expect. And news of the surprise greeting spread quickly.

“I think I knew 80% of the people there,” he said. “I couldn’t believe it.”

Cheering fans held glow sticks and signs, and Torri took photos with young swimmers who look up to her, Parks Department spokeswoman Susan Kalish said. The fire department gave her an honorary shirt and patch.

“Everyone was so excited for her and there was so much joy in the air,” she said. “Torri made a beeline for Evan Stiles, her coach, to give him a big hug when she got out of the car.”

Stiles has been her coach for the last four years, Huske said. He credited him, and all of Torri’s coaches, as well as the local connections who helped Torri find suitable pools to practice in, and APS staff for getting his daughter to the Olympics.

“Everybody has a little piece of that medal, whether they realize it or not, and she knows,” Huske said.

He added that his family is “so proud of her of her swimming. She always wants to do better. She gave it her best at that time, she’s looking forward to the opportunity to represent America again. We’re so proud of how she handled it. At 18, all those young kids, they all banded together, and all helped each other. They did a phenomenal job to support each other, from soup to nuts.”

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After heartbreak in a race last weekend, Arlington swimming phenom Torri Huske will be coming home with some Olympic hardware after all.

Huske was part of the U.S. women’s 4×100 medley relay team that won silver in a race that was televised nationally Saturday night.

The team was bolstered by a strong 56.16 second performance by Huske, who swam the butterfly leg of the medley, but came up just short of gold. The U.S. finished 0.13 seconds behind the Australian team, which set an Olympic record with a time of 3:51.60.

A week ago, Huske finished 0.01 seconds away from the bronze medal and 0.14 seconds from gold in the individual 100-meter butterfly race. The 18-year-old Yorktown High School grad, who will attend Stanford in the fall, was also on a mixed medley team that missed the medal podium this past week.

Reaction to the medal-winning relay performance via social media, below.

https://twitter.com/USASwimming/status/1421658186210185219

https://twitter.com/stanfordwswim/status/1421661277189906436

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Yorktown High School grad Torri Huske appeared poised for victory in the 100-meter butterfly last night in Tokyo, but ended up just off the Olympic podium by a tiny fraction of a second.

The 18-year-old was out in front by a head down the stretch, but ended up finishing at 55.73 seconds, 0.01 seconds away from the bronze medal and just 0.14 seconds after the gold medal time.

Arlington Aquatic Club teammates and other supporters cheered Huske on from Dudley’s Sport and Ale in Shirlington, as seen on NBC’s Olympics Twitter account, below.

Despite the disappointment, Huske is still early in her competitive swimming career. She will attend Stanford in the fall, swimming on the school’s elite women’s team, and will be a favorite to return to the Olympics in three years in Paris.

More from social media:

https://twitter.com/nytimes/status/1419480533617283074

https://twitter.com/stanfordwswim/status/1419472245039063043

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Morning Notes

Big Changes Proposed for Shirlington — “A proposal to re-imagine the streets of Shirlington is being put forward. Last July, the Arlington County Board approved mixed-use rezoning for nearly ten acres of the Village at Shirlington. Now, Federal Realty Investment Trust (FRIT) is putting forth a vision to transform the streetscape throughout the area… Campbell Avenue will be the focal point for these improvements, updated with patterned pavers and interactive sculptures.” [UrbanTurf]

Yorktown Soccer in State Final — “Somewhere in the mess of bodies, Patriots senior Gibson Lusk poked the ball into the net. It gave Yorktown a lead for good and punctuated the full turnaround of a game that started slow and sloppy for the Patriots. Now, they are headed to the Virginia Class 6 title game after a 3-1 victory Monday.” [Washington Post]

Huske Reacts to Olympic Qualification — “In her first on-camera interview since returning from Omaha, Torri talked with 7News sports anchor Scott Abraham about her incredible journey to the Olympic Games. ‘At first it was very overwhelming, I feel like it’s just so unbelievable that this would happen to me of all people,’ Huske told Abraham… ‘I never thought I would be in this position and it’s really weird to think that some little kid looks up to you.'” [WJLA]

Feds Off Hook, But ACPD Still Being Sued — “A federal judge has dismissed multiple claims filed by protesters and civil liberties groups after law enforcement forcefully cleared demonstrators from Lafayette Square Park ahead of Donald Trump’s infamous photo-op at St. John’s Episcopal Church last summer…. The judge did allow litigation to proceed against D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department and Arlington County Police, however.” [DCist]

Amazon Donated Antiracism Books to APS — “The emails show Amazon employees reached out to Arlington Public Schools as part of ‘NeighborGood,’ a program to donate $100,000 to schools and other institutions that ’empower black voices and serve black communities.’ Despite Amazon’s offer to purchase Kindles or other equipment, Arlington Public Schools director of diversity and inclusion Arron Gregory requested copies of [Ibram X.] Kendi’s Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You. Amazon donated between 500-600 copies of the book to Wakefield High School and paid $10,000 to have Kendi’s coauthor Jason Reynolds address students.” [Washington Free Beacon]

Crystal City Metro Mural Finalists Selected — “Six visual artists have been chosen as finalists to paint a new mural at the Crystal City Metro Plaza, according to a release from the National Landing Business Improvement District (BID). The BID put a call out in May for individual artists or teams of artists to submit their credentials by June 1 so judges could determine if they had the experience and the chops to tackle the project.” [Patch, National Landing BID]

Memories of a Local Cicada Expert — “Ann thought of Allard recently because of one of his favorite subjects: the periodical cicada. She hadn’t realized he was an expert in Brood X. Then she found his 1937 paper in the American Naturalist journal. Ann posted her memories on Facebook’s ‘I grew up in Arlington, VA’ page and was surprised at how many other people from the neighborhood remembered the old scientist.” [Washington Post]

Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman

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