TORONTO-Jenny Thompson came to win. It was evident that she would make every final swim count. Over the two days of competition she won the 100-200 free, 50-100 fly, and the 100 IM. Her 50 fly time of 26.48 established a new world record (FINA ratified on Dec.16). This was a "soft" record as it was held by Misty Hyman and was her split in the final race of the 100 fly at last April's short course world championships. Hyman finished third in that race.
"I told a couple of my friends jokingly before I came up here that's the one thing I want to do here," Thompson said. "To get that record."
Her exam schedule conflicts with the US Open so this meet is one of the final tune-ups before the worlds.
Thompson is completing pre-med school and hopes to gain acceptance into medical school. She graduated from Stanford in 1995 with a Human Biology degree. She continues to train there, long course in the mornings and short course yards in the afternoon.
Thompson was not the only American ready now for world class times. Lea Maurer (formerly Loveless), 26, is a full-time school teacher and training for the worlds in January with long-time coach John Collins at Badger SC. She was counting the days remaining (41 to her event) and was ready now; her 59.61 in the 100 back is proof. She swam the prelims of the 200 back in 2:08.73 but couldn't stay for finals as she had to fly back to New York and work the next day. A week later she swam 1:01.83 (long course) at the US Open. She is determined to be at her best in January.
Cristina Teuscher, also with Badger, won the 200-400 IMs. She swam in an early heat of the 800 free, finishing third. And she would have won the 400 free, after her prelim time of 4:09.49.
Canada's World Championship team was present and in varying stages of their preparation. Top prospects like Curtis Myden and Jessica Deglau were in good mid-season shape. Others like Marianne Limpert and Joanne Malar were under a heavier workload.
Myden was second in the 400 free, third in the 200 back, and first with 2:00.86 in his specialty, the 200 IM.
Deglau was third in the 400 free and 100 fly, and first in the 200 fly with a 2:11.39.
Limpert was third in the 100 free, fifth in the 100 breast, and second in both the 100 and 200 IM.
Malar won the 400 free and 800 free with solid in-season times. She was particularly pleased with her 800 time of 8:40.27, a mere three seconds off her best ever.
Mark Versfeld was impressive with his backstroke wins with 55.50 and 1:58.09, and he added the 100 IM with a 56.87.
The best of the new faces was Kristy Cameron, Huron Hurricanes, with her 1:10.65 and 2:29.37 breaststroke times. She made giant steps since last spring, when her best times were 1:14.13 and 2:38.72.
The format of the meet followed the World Cup order of events over two days.