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.