Katie Hoff returns to competitive swimming

Katie Hoff

Michael Phelps is keeping his options open. Katie Hoff is diving right in.

Hoff, 24, entered her first competitive meet since the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials in Plantation, Fla., over the weekend.

The three-time 2008 Olympic medalist won a 200-yard freestyle in 1 minute, 45.93 seconds, a 200 individual medley in 1:59.01 and took second in a 100 free in 50.55. It’s hard to compare times given this meet was in yards, not meters like major international events.

Hoff, who failed to make the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team, said she’s been training for 2 1/2 months and is practicing eight times per week with Hurricane Aquatics at the University of Miami. She’ll finish school at the Coral Gables in May.

“I set a pretty high bar for myself coming in [to the meet],” she told Florida Swim Network. “Pretty much, the whole last year I was in and out of the water just kind of splashing around and mainly doing land stuff.

“I ramped it up pretty quick.”

Hoff was once dubbed the female Phelps for her precocious talent coming out of the same North Baltimore Aquatic Club. She swam at the 2004 Olympics at age 15 and won three gold medals at the 2005 and 2007 World Championships.

“I feel really old,” she told Florida Swim Network. “I used to look at the heat sheets and be like, ‘Oh, who’s that mid-20s person? They’re so old.’ Now, I’m that girl.”

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