Gorman, 24, is proving she's not past her prime Timonium resident wins consolation

December 01, 1991|By Greg Wong | Greg Wong,Special to The Sun

MINNEAPOLIS -- When most people her age put on their swim suits, it's to head to the beach for a little fun and sun.

Not so for Julie Gorman of Timonium, Md.

Gorman, 24, still is putting on her suit to train and compete in the pool. Gorman, a four-time NCAA champion at Florida and three-time national champion, still has that competitive drive in a sport that usually retires its athletes upon their graduation from college.

She keeps going, she said, "because I still think I can go faster."

And, she added with a wink, "Because it keeps me out of the real world."

Her main tie to the real world is a part-time job at a Baltimore insurance company. It's a job that allows her the time and flexibility to continue competitive swimming.

Last night, Gorman won the consolation final in the 100-meter butterfly at the U.S. Open Swimming Championships at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center.

Her time of 1 minute, 2.31 seconds was better than three swimmers who made the championship heat. But because she was not among the final eight, she had to settle for ninth place. Winner Susan O'Neil of Australia finished in a time of 1:00.50.

"Julie's right there, she's not that far off," said Murray Stephens, her coach on the North Baltimore Aquatic Club team.

Gorman missed making the championship heat by 16 hundredths of a second during yesterday morning's qualifying.

"I didn't quite get in, but I'm still proud of the way I swam," she said. "My goal coming here was to swim every night, whether it was in the finals or in the [consolation races], and I've done that so far. I'm pretty happy with that."

On Friday night, Gorman finished eighth in the 400-meter freestyle consolation heat, or 16th overall.

"That was a new event for me," she said. "It was a nice change, although I was really tired at the end."

Gorman will swim in the 200-meter butterfly today -- and tonight, too, if all goes well in this morning's qualifying.

Also swimming today from the North Baltimore club will be Anita Nall and Amanda White in the 200 breast stroke; Casey Barrett and Suzanne Breebeck in the 200 butterfly; and Mike Raley in the 200 breast stroke.

Raley has been ill this week, however, and his status will not be determined until this morning, Stephens said.

Nall is ranked No. 1 in the world and is the American record-holder in the 200 breast stroke. She finished third in the 100 breast stroke on Friday night.

Breebeck and Barrett did not swim last night after missing out in the morning qualifying. Breebeck was 41st in the women's 400 individual medley with a time of 5:11.19, and Barrett was disqualified in the men's 400 IM because of an illegal vertical kick.

Mike Barrowman, 22, who lives in Potomac, Md., won the 400 IM in a meet-record time of 4:21.57. Barrowman, the world record-holder in the 200 breast stroke, swims for the Curl-Burke club after a collegiate career at Michigan.

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