Three swimmers set American records on the opening day of the U.S. Olympic swim trials, raising coach Richard Quick's hopes for success in the Seoul Olympics.
Teen sensation Janet Evans smashed the U.S. mark in the 400-meter individual medley Monday night at the Texas Swim Center. Angel Myers twice lowered the American record in the 100 meters and Matt Biondi broke his own mark in the 200 freestyle preliminaries, then finished a disappointing second in the finals.Quick, also the women's coach at the University of Texas, was excited about the men's 800-meter freestyle and women's 400-meter freestyle relay teams selected on the basis of Monday's results.
"I'm ectstatic about the meet," Quick said. "The thing that excited me most, in the men's 200 and women's 100, was the depth of the field. It makes us strong in the relay events. It was a great first day."
Quick said the favored East German women's team will be tested by his squad.
"The East Germans came on so fast and surprised the world. But you can see from this meet that we're in the ball park with them. Our girls are confident. I just don't think they're out of reach. But they're still the favorites," he said.
"The East Germans weren't worried about us, but after this, maybe they have reason to worry," said Dara Torres, who earned a women's relay berth. "People don't think we have a shot at the East Germans, but after this, I think we'll give them a good fight."
Biondi, the world-record holder in the 100 freestyle, set an American record of 1:47.72 in morning preliminaries. The 22-year-old from Moraga, Calif., was on world-record pace halfway through the finals, but faded and finished in 1:48.37, two-hundredths behind winner Troy Dalbey. Biondi still earned the second and final Seoul berth in the event.
"I'm disappointed," Biondi said. "I'm swimming faster than I have been the past couple of months. If I had it to do over again, I don't think I would go out as fast in the morning."
Biondi seeks to qualify for Seoul in four individual events as well as three relays, giving him a chance to win seven medals in Seoul. Mark Spitz won seven gold medals in world record times at the 1972 Games in Munich.
Dalbey's Olympic hopes were boosted by the surprise triumph.