Her North Baltimore Aquatic Club teammates thought it was pretty neat. Now Anita Nall had a silver to go with the bronze. Today, a gold?
That was the outlook of Nall's friends after she won a silver medal in the Olympic 100-meter breaststroke yesterday in Barcelona, Spain. A dozen people gathered at Jim and Cathy Lears' Towson home to watch on cable TV as Nall tried to rebound from a third-place finish Monday in the 200 breaststroke.
"If Anita gets a gold medal in the relay, she'll have one of each," someone shouted, referring to today's 400 medley relay in which Nall will swim the breaststroke leg.
In finishing second in the 100 to Elena Roudkovskaia of the Unified Team, Nall set an American record of 1:08.17, breaking Tracey McFarlane's 1988 mark of 1:08.91.
"Great," said NBAC swimmer Jen Lears. "It was her best time in that event by over a second, and an American record. It's good that she came back after the 200 and did this well."
The Lears' house was decorated for the occasion, just as it had been Monday when the team assembled to watch Nall in the 200. Two large American paper flags were taped to a picture window, along with signs urging Nall to swim fast.
"It's a tribute to her mental and physical powers that she came back from disappointment in the 200, her main event, and got second in the 100," Jim Lears said. "It would have been easy for her to be discouraged as well as disappointed. The way she swam in the 100, she obviously wasn't discouraged. A personal best, an American record, a silver and awfully close to a gold."