AUSTIN, Tx. -- Ricky Berens post-Olympic career hit a milestone Thursday when he set a new American record in the 200 yard freestyle.

At first, it looked as if he would finish short of his longtime goal.

The South Meck grad fell behind record pace early on at the American Short Course Championships at the University of Texas at Austin.

But Berens, historically a slow starter, closed out the race with an explosive final 50 yards for a mark of 1:31.31. On Friday, Berens clocked a personal best time in the 100 yard freestyle.

The performances raise expectations for Berens heading into the summer World Championships in Barcelona. Berens, who trains at Texas, is also scheduled to compete at the Charlotte UltraSwim in May.

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