Olympic champion Beth Botsford is going to pass on this one, but Baltimore still will be well represented at the Phillips 66 National Swimming Championships, which start a five-day run Monday in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
The North Baltimore Aquatic Club is sending five swimmers and UMBC's Retriever Aquatic Club three, while former Calvert Hall and Knights of Columbus-Orchards star Brad Francis, a Southern Cal senior, will compete for Trojan Swimming in three individual events and relays.
Botsford, the Garrison Forest sophomore who won gold medals in the 100-meter backstroke and 400 medley relay in Atlanta, elected to resume heavy training rather than swim in the nationals.
"She tapered for three weeks before the Olympics and then had the Olympics themselves and a break for the closing ceremonies," said NBAC coach Murray Stephens, who was an assistant Olympic team coach. "She wants to start getting back into shape."
Representing NBAC will be Joe Curreri, Olympian Whitney Metzler, Meghan Riddle, Brittany White and Whitney Phelps.
"Brittany has a chance to do well in this meet," Stephens said. "For Whitney Phelps, it's a chance to get back into the most competitive swimming she's had since the Olympic trials. Whitney Metzler can get in some more racing before going to the University of Florida. For the others, it's their first nationals, so they're going for the experience."
Retriever coach Sid Burkot is sending Lisa Webb, Patrick Evans and Megan Melgaard. Melgaard qualified for the senior nationals for the first time when she won the 200-meter freestyle and was second in the 400, 800 and 1,500 in the Junior National Championships last week in Tuscaloosa, Ala., capturing the female high-point trophy in the meet.
"It's the second seniors for Lisa and Patrick, but their first long course [50-meter pool]," Burkot said. "They've been training well."
NBAC's five, plus teammates B. J. Brannan, Paul Yetter, Kelly McPherson, David Denrich and Jen Lears, will compete in the U.S. Swimming 5-K National Championships Aug. 17 in the ocean off Fort Lauderdale.
Stephens plans to take a group of NBAC members to Australia over Christmas to train at three sites, perhaps including the pool that will be used for the 2000 Olympics.
Pub Date: 8/09/96
Locals in nationals
North Baltimore Aquatic Club
Joe Curreri: 800-meter freestyle, 400 individual medley
Whitney Metzler: 200 and 400 IM, 100 and 200 breaststroke
Meghan Riddle: 400 and 800 freestyle, 400 IM
Brittany White: 200 and 400 IM, 100 and 200 breaststroke
Whitney Phelps: 100 and 200 butterfly, 400 IM
Retriever Aquatic Club
Lisa Webb: 200 and 400 IM
Patrick Evans: 100 and 200 backstroke
Megan Melgaard: 200, 400, 800 and 1,500 freestyle
Brad Francis: 100 and 200 backstroke, 100 butterfly