SWIMNEWS ONLINE: April 1996 Magazine Articles

Shopping Media Kit Trial Issue Swim Camp Directory



Karin Helmstaedt

The women's competition in Montreal saw some tough racing and the 200 butterfly was no exception. After several misses, Andrea Schwarz was out to prove that she deserved an individual event in Atlanta and took out the first 50, but she had to reckon with Jessica Deglau, who had also posted a 2:14+ in the heats. Deglau was right with Schwartz, touching first at the 100 (1:04.32). It was a terrific race in the second half as both women gave it their all. Deglau touched first in 2:12.68-a best time by a long shot-and Schwartz was a close second in 2:12.71, also a best time. Once again, both were under the FINA standard (2:14.32) and both are off to Atlanta.

Andrea Schwartz and Jessica Deglau enjoy moment after making the team. For larger 64k photo click on image. Photo © Marco Chiesa

After missing the team in the 100, Chris Renaud was determined to win the men's 200 backstroke. He said that the long wait between the two events, instead of wearing him out, made him tougher mentally. The positive thinking paid off; right from the start there was no question as to whose name would be on this ticket. Renaud split 58.5 at the 100 ahead of Robert Braknis (1:00.53) and held on to his lead to the finish. His time of 2:00.63 was under the FINA standard of 2:01.46, adding one more to coach Deryk Snelling's impressive list of Olympic qualifiers. Braknis finished second in 2:02.04, not fast enough to make the FINA standard, but fast enough to be very competitive and leave no doubt as to his versatility. Braknis left Montreal with two gold medals, a silver and a bronze; it seems unjust that with such a showing he might still miss the plane to Atlanta. Greg Hamm of the Pacific Dolphins was third in 2:02.43 Of note was Curtis Myden's fourth place time of 2:02.77.

The 50 freestyle was obviously Quebec territory as Martine Dessureault of Montreal Nord made the FINA standard and secured her spot on the team with a clear win in 26.22. "It's a dream come true," she said afterward. "I had no idea I was ahead. I just concentrated on my race. I've been dreaming of this since I was small." Shannon Shakespeare was second in 26.45, 21/100 of a second away from an Olympic double. Andrea Moody was third in 26.46.

The meet ended, unfortunately, with another heartbreaker as Mike McWha swam the gruelling 1500 freestyle and won it, only to miss the COA qualifying standard by 18/100 of a second. A long way to go for such a near miss. The crowd supported him all the way as the margin was tight; his final time was 15:36.12. There was some uproar afterward that a fault on the part of the starter-the starting beep was still set up for the 50 freestyle-cost McWha the qualification time. The delay as the sound of the electronic start travelled from the other end of the pool was, observers said, about 2/10 of a second. Well back in second place was Brett Creed with a time of 15:41.39.

Home | E-Mail | Top of Page | April 96 Contents | Magazine
Mag Archives | Calendar | World Rankings | Meet Results | Links to Sites
Photo Library | Biographies | Forums | Shopping | Classifieds

COPYRIGHT © 1995-1998 SWIMNEWS MAGAZINE, All Rights Reserved.
URL: http://swimnews.com