NBAC to get splashy new digs

March 21, 1995|By Doug Brown | Doug Brown,Sun Staff Writer

A swimming pool is under construction that will befit the North Baltimore Aquatic Club's national women's champions.

A six-lane, 50-meter indoor pool at the Meadowbrook Aquatic Center in Mount Washington is scheduled to open in June. The $1.6 million project also includes a training and teaching pool, a large hot tub and an aerobics room and fitness equipment.

Ground was broken in December at Meadowbrook, which already has a 60-meter outdoor pool. The new facility will be the first privately owned 50-meter indoor pool in the state, according to owner Murray Stephens.

In 1987, Stephens purchased and renovated Meadowbrook, which was established in 1930 and served not only the community but as a stage for such aquatic show stars as Buster Crabbe.

"This is something I've always wanted to do," said Stephens, who, in addition to directing NBAC, teaches English and coaches swimming at Loyola High. "There's not enough money in competitive swimming to finance this, so you have to fit it into recreation and fitness programs.

"We have Masters swimming, lessons and recreational swimming in addition to our competitive program," Stephens added. "There will be from four to six lanes available for lap swimmers 15 hours a day year-round. Put all this together and it'll work [financially]."

Stephens' top six girls returned in triumph over the weekend from Minneapolis, where NBAC won the women's title in the Phillips 66 National Championships for the second straight year.

Beth Botsford, an eighth-grader at Garrison Forest School who won the 200-meter backstroke, and Whitney Phelps, Whitney Metzler, Kelly McPherson, Melinda Rehm and Brittany White scored 237 points to 193 by runner-up Bolles School of Jacksonville, Fla.

In the 1994 world rankings, all six are listed in the top 25 in at least one event, and Botsford and Phelps appear in the top three. Judging by results in last week's NCAA women's championships, Stephens figures his NBAC six could have finished fourth among the collegians.

"Our next goal is to win the women's championship in the summer nationals," Stephens said. "We'll be facing girls from college-based teams from Stanford, Michigan and Texas."

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