Originally created 08/11/00

Quann is not satisfied with American records



INDIANAPOLIS -- Talk about an impatient teen.

Megan Quann breaks her own American record, but that's not enough for the 16-year-old. She wants to take on the world.

"I'm not satisfied," Quann said Thursday, even though she had just set a national record at the U.S. Olympic trials in the 100-meter breaststroke. "I want to break the world record and I know I can do it."

Quann finished her preliminary swim in 1 minute, 7.12 seconds -- fastest in the world this year and eclipsing her mark of 1:07.54 set in March. She was 0.60 seconds off the world record held by South Africa's Penny Heyns -- a significant difference to make up as she headed into the evening semifinals.

Was Quann worried about the gap? Hardly.

"Because the world record is such a low time, people think it's untouchable," she said. "I don't feel that way. I have a goal, to break that record, and I believe I can get it."

Her strategy is simple.

"Every time I get up on the blocks, I want to swim as fast as I can," said Quann, who has a 3.8 grade-point average at Rogers High School in Puyallup, Wash. "If you're racing, and especially at a big meet like this, why would you want to swim anything but your fastest?"

Well, maybe she could learn a thing or two from Lenny Krayzelburg, world record-holder in the men's 100 backstroke. The 24-year-old native of the Ukraine cruised through the prelims at 54.33, fastest in the world this year.

But he was just getting warmed up. Krayzelburg wore a traditional suit -- forgoing the high-tech bodysuit -- and didn't even bother with a skin cap. Heck, he probably could have reached the semifinals swimming in a suit and tie.

"I can come in and work on some things and build my race," he said. "I'm saving it for (the final) tomorrow night."

Two of the most anticipated races of the eight-day trials were on Thursday night's schedule.

In the women's 100 butterfly, 33-year-old Dara Torres was matched against former training partner Jenny Thompson. In the men's 400 individual medley, Tom Wilkens challenged the dominance of Tom Dolan, world record-holder and defending Olympic champion.

Torres, who made her Olympic debut in 1984, is trying to become the first American to swim in four Games. She has been remarkably strong since ending a seven-year retirement, breaking the U.S. record in the 100 fly in Wednesday's preliminaries.

Thompson, 27, was the inspiration for Torres' comeback in July 1999, and the two initially trained together at Stanford. By December, their coach split them up because workouts were starting to resemble a mini-Olympics.

Thompson is a five-time gold medalist, but all have come on relay teams. She was a major disappointment at the 1996 trials, failing to qualify in any of her individual events.

Wilkens, of Palo Alto, Calif., was on world-record pace through 300 meters in the morning prelims but dropped back on the freestyle leg to 4:16.91, missing Dolan's mark by more than four seconds. His rival was second-fastest at 4:18.89.

The top two in each event will make the Olympic team.

Brooke Bennett, the 1996 gold medalist in the 800 freestyle, took it easy in the prelims of the 400 free and still finished at 4:08.87 -- more than two seconds ahead of the next-fastest qualifier, Diana Munz.

"That was the easiest 4:08 I ever swam in my life," said Bennett, sounding confident heading into the evening final.

Bennett still has unfinished business from the 1996 trials, when she failed to qualify in the 400 -- her best event. She wants to make up for it in Sydney.

"I'm using all my experience from '96," Bennett said. "I can really feel the wisdom I've learned over four years."

Courtney Shealy of Columbia, S.C., was fastest qualifier in the women's 100 backstroke and Josh Davis of Austin, Texas, led the 200 freestyle qualifying.