Ziegler shatters 1,500 free mark set in 1988

Updated: June 18, 2007, 12:02 AM ET
Associated Press

MISSION VIEJO, Calif. -- Kate Ziegler broke swimming's oldest world record, shattering the 1,500-meter freestyle mark by 9½ seconds Sunday night.

Ziegler won the 30-lap race at the TYR Meet of Champions in 15 minutes, 42.54 seconds, easily erasing Janet Evans' 1988 mark of 15:52.10 set in Orlando, Fla. At the time, Evans was the first woman to break 16 minutes.

"It was pretty spectacular," Mark Schubert, national team coach and general manager of USA Swimming, told The Associated Press. "Kate was delighted when she looked at the scoreboard. She practically jumped out of the pool."

It was Ziegler's fourth victory at the meet, having already won the 200, 400 and 800 freestyles.

In the 1,500, Ziegler's 400-meter split was 4:09.87 -- 4 seconds off her winning time in the event Friday. Her 800 split of 8:22.57 was 2 seconds faster than her winning time in the 800 Thursday.

At the world championships in March, Ziegler won the 1,500 in 15:53.05, second-fastest in history. The race is not an Olympic event for women.

The 18-year-old swimmer from Great Falls, Va., idolizes Evans, who was not on hand.

"I'm sure she'll be happy for Kate, but she'll probably be a little disappointed," said Schubert, who coached Evans.

Evans still holds the 800 free world record, set Aug. 20, 1989, in Tokyo. Her 18-year-old world mark in the 400 free was broken by Laure Manaudou of France in May 2006.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press