MINNEAPOLIS -- Considering what she has been through recently, Anita Nall was pleased with her time and non-winning showing yesterday in her first race at the U.S. Open Swimming Championships.
Nall, 15, a Towson High School sophomore who swims for the North Baltimore Aquatics Club, was fourth in the 100-meter breast stroke in a time of 1 minute, 11.29 seconds. The winner was Australian Samantha Riley, 19, who finished in 1:10.56.
"I just had my tonsils out a couple of weeks ago, so I hadn't been in total training," Nall said. "I didn't know how I'd do coming here. My goals were not set real high.
"I guess I did OK. I'm pretty pleased. This wasn't the worst thing that could happen to me."
Also finishing ahead of Nall were Gabriella Csepe of Hungary and American University in 1:10.72 and Lara Hooiveld of Australia and the University of Michigan in 1:11.24.
With the top three finishers foreigners, Nall can take consolation that she was the highest-placing American swimmer in the event.
Entering the meet at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center, Nall was ranked fifth in the world and Riley ninth in the 100.
"But this is the second time she's beaten me this year," Nall said. "She also finished ahead of me at the Pan Pacifics."
There, Riley was second and Nall was fourth.
Nall would like to get back at Riley in tomorrow's 200-meter breast stroke, in which she is the defending U.S. Open champion and ranked No. 1 in the world.
"I hope the 200 will be better for me," she said.
Nall also set the American record in the 200 with a time of 2:27.08 at this year's USS Spring Nationals.
To get back to that level, she mostly needs to get back in competitive shape after the tonsillectomy.
"And I need to work some on my technique, mostly my kick," she said.
Next for Nall is the Olympic Trials in March.
NOTES: Other Marylanders and their performances: Mike Barrowman, 22, who lives in Rockville, finished third in the 100-meter breast stroke. Barrowman is the reigning world champion and world record-holder in the 200 breast stroke. . . . Julie Gorman, 24, of Baltimore, finished 14th in the 400 freestyle in a time of 4:23.22. Gorman's best events, the 100- and 200-meter butterfly, are today and tomorrow, respectively. . . . Mike Stambaugh, 19, of UMBC, did not make the final in the 50-meter freestyle after finishing 31st in qualifying in 24.14 seconds.