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Mission Viejo Swimmer Chases Olympic Gold

20-year-old Chloe Sutton needs to be physically and mentally ready for her 800-meter freestyle race at the U.S. Olympic trials Saturday, her coach said.

What Chloe Sutton calls a warm-up, most of us call impossible.

This morning the Mission Viejo Nadadores swimmer trained for the weekend's U.S. Olympic trials by “backing off” her usual practice schedule – swimming 3,000-meters instead of 8,000 meters, her coach said.

Sutton, 20, has definitely earned a few days of lighter work .

But "backing off" doesn't mean the Mission Viejo resident is slacking off, says Sutton's coach, Bill Rose. 

“She’s got to be, not only physically prepared, but mentally prepared as well,” Rose said. “If she does what she’s trained to do, she will be a competitor.”

In 2008, Sutton swam in the Beijing Olympics, placing 22nd in the open-water 10k.

In addition to her 3,000-meter swim this morning, Sutton will swim about 2,500 meters sometime tonight.

Rose said he won’t “make predictions” about the weekend's trials. 

“These are the best swimmers in the country and the world, and so the competition is crazy,” Rose said.  

Click here to read Sutton’s biography on the USA Swimming Team’s website.

On Tuesday, Sutton swam 400 meters in 4:04.18, clinching her spot at the London Olympic Games.

With the time, her personal best, Sutton became the first American to be an Olympian in both the open water and in the pool.

Sutton has won medals in a number of international competitions including taking the gold in the 2006 Pan Pacific Championships, the gold in the 2007 Pan American Games and the bronze in the 2008 FINA World Open Water Championships.

With Sutton’s success Tuesday, the Mission Viejo Nadadores have placed at least one swimmer in every Olympic contest since 1976, according to Rose, who also serves as the Nadadores head coach.

Coaching professionally since 1965, Rose said his first Olympic student swimmer Mike Bruner took two gold medals at the Montreal Olympic Games in 1976.

Tomorrow, Sutton will compete in Omaha, Nebraska in the preliminary 800-meter freestyle, which Rose says is “arguably her best race.”

If Sutton succeeds, she’ll move on to the U.S. Olympic trials finals Sunday night at 5 p.m. 

Rose said that, to prepare on Saturday morning, Sutton will wake up around 6 a.m., warm-up by doing 2,000 meters, rest for an hour or so and then do about 800-1000 meters before the race.

Readers can follow Sutton on Twitter at https://twitter.com/csutswim.

Mission Viejo Patch will be covering Sutton's progress so check back later this weekend for more updates. 

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