Life is a mall for Towson's Nall, newest darling of U.S. swimming HD: Breast-stroke world mark possible at Pan Pacific

August 22, 1991|By Bill Free

Towson High School's Anita Nall seems to be on a collision course with world records.

During the past three days in Edmonton, Alberta, she has visited the world's largest mall and has ridden on the world's largest indoor roller coaster.

This weekend in the Pan Pacific Games in Edmonton, Nall hopes to have another close encounter with a world record when she swims the 200-meter and 100-meter breast strokes.

Nall, 15, came within .37 of a second of the world record in the women's 200-meter breast stroke last April when she shattered the American record with a time of 2 minutes, 27.08 seconds in the Phillips 66/U.S. Spring Nationals in Seattle. Nall knocked an astonishing 2 1/2 seconds off the U.S. record (2:29.58) that was set by Amy Shaw in 1987.

The 200-meter world breast-stroke record of 2:26.71 was set by East Germany's Silke Horner during the 1988 Olympics.

Nall, who swims for the North Baltimore Aquatic Club and is a member of the U.S. National swim team, said yesterday from Edmonton that she will be aiming for the 200-meter world record Sunday but won't be too upset if she fails to get it.

"If I don't break it here, I'll try to get it the next time," said Nall, who has been in Edmonton since Saturday training for the Pan Pacific competition.

Nall said her mother, Marilyn, her father, John, and 20 year-old sister Jenifer will be in Edmonton this weekend to watch her go for the 200-meter record and compete in the 100-meter breast-stroke competition tomorrow.

Nall's NBAC coach, Murray Stephens, won't be in Edmonton, but he has given his star pupil some practice routines to complete along with her training with the U.S. team.

"I'll touch bases with Murray Thursday [today]," said Nall of her usual road routine.

Nall, 5 feet 5, 123 pounds, is considered a medal contender at the 1992 Summer Olympics, especially in the 200-meter breast stroke, which she said is her strongest event because it gives her more time to get into her stroke.

"I think my chances of making the Olympic team are pretty good," said Nall. "It all depends on how things go in the winter trials.

However, Nall is having too much fun as a teen-ager to get too carried away with her new status as America's premier female in the breast stroke.

"I'm having a great time up here [in Edmonton]," said Nall. "I've met a lot of nice people here. The roller coaster must have been 13 stories high, and the mall was great. Every time I go to a different city, I meet a new set of people and have fun. My life is not that much different since I broke the record."

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