Janet Evans Sets World Record in 1,500 Freestyle

Janet Evans of Placentia broke her second world record in four days and became the first woman to beat 16 minutes in the 1,500-meter freestyle by covering the distance in 15 minutes 52.10 seconds at the U.S. Swimming Indoor National Championships Saturday night in Orlando, Fla.

“I didn’t think I had it in me when I was swimming,” said Evans, 17, a junior at El Dorado High School. “It hurt so bad, I was really dead when I finished the race.”

Evans broke her own world record of 16:00.73, set last year at the U.S. Swimming Long Course National Championships.

In breaking the record, Evans beat Debbie Babashoff of Fountain Valley, who finished second in 16:27.40. Evans’ time was faster than the 1972 Olympic gold medal and world record time of 15:52.58 by America’s Mike Burton.

On Tuesday, Evans won the 800 freestyle in a world-record time of 8:17.12, and she picked up individual titles in the 400 freestyle and 400 individual medley this week as well.

“I came here to win four events,” said Evans, who swims for the Fullerton Aquatics Swim Team. “I’ve got to be satisfied with my performance.”

For her efforts, Evans won the Performance Award of the meet as voted upon by the attending media.

Mission Bay (Fla.) took the men’s, women’s and combined team championships, its seventh, eighth and ninth team titles since the club was founded in 1985.

Mission Bay took the men’s title with 694 points and the women’s with 668. The Holmes Lumber Gator team from Gainesville, Fla., was runner-up in the women’s with 504 points, and Mission Viejo took second place in the men’s race with 442.5 points.