The Anita Nall-led contingent of Baltimore area swimmers bound for the Phillips 66 U.S. National Championships includes at least two others who have a chance at top 16 finishes.
The meet, which has attracted more than 800 swimmers from more than 300 clubs, will begin a five-day run today in Nashville, ++ Tenn. The competition will be held in Tracy Caulkins Pool, named in honor of the former Olympian.
Nall, the world-record holder in the 200-meter breaststroke and a triple Olympic medalist, is the likely favorite in the 100 and 200 breaststroke events. Another North Baltimore Aquatic Club swimmer, Kelly McPherson, 14, has a chance to place in the top eight.
A Dulaney High student, McPherson was seventh in the 1,500-meter freestyle in last August's nationals. She was ranked 16th in the world last year in the 1,500 with a time of 17:00.86, then lowered her best time in January to 16:56.00.
"After Anita, Kelly will be the highest-ranked swimmer from this area at the meet," said NBAC coach Murray Stephens. "She has a chance to score points [finish in the top 16], perhaps final [top eight]."
The times of NBAC's Whitney Metzler, also 14, suggest she, too, is capable of scoring points, in one of the breaststrokes or an individual medley.
UMBC and the Retriever Aquatic Club, both coached by Sid Burkot, are sending 10 swimmers. One, Elysia Moreland, finished 12th in the 200-meter butterfly in last summer's nationals.
"If Moreland and the other women perform well, they have a chance to finish in the top 16," said Burkot, referring also to Candie Johnson, Ingrid Kilpe and Rachel Handshu.
Brad Francis of Calvert Hall and the Knights of Columbus-Orchards age-group team qualified for the Nashville meet during the Speedo Junior National Championships last week in Gainesville, Fla.
Francis, the leading swimmer in the Maryland Scholastic Association, won the 100-yard butterfly in the senior nationals qualifying time of 49.45 seconds.
Locals in nationals
0 North Baltimore Aquatic Club * Anita Nall, 100- and 200-meter breaststroke, 200 and 400 individual medley
* Kelly McPherson, 400, 800 and 1,500 freestyle, 400 individual medley
* Whitney Metzler, 100 and 200 breaststroke, 200 and 400 individual medley
Retriever Aquatic Club * Elysia Moreland, 100 and 200 butterfly, 400 individual medley, three relays
* Candie Johnson, 50 and 100 freestyle, 100 butterfly, three relays
* Ingrid Kilpe, 100 backstroke, 100 butterfly, three relays
* Rachel Handshu, 400 and 800 freestyle relay, 400 medley relay
* David Miller, 400 individual medley
Mike Stambaugh, 50 freestyle
* Mike Gibeau, Eric Sloan, Loren Siebert and Jason Starr, 400 and 800 freestyle relay, 400 medley relay
Knights of Columbus-Orchards * Brad Francis, 100 butterfly