Chad Hundeby of Irvine won the first national championship of his career Tuesday by winning the 1,000-yard freestyle in 9 minutes 1.53 seconds at the U.S. Swimming Short Course National Championships.
Hundeby, who swims for the Irvine Novaquatics and was The Times’ Orange County swimmer of the year in 1988 as a senior at Woodbridge High, proved that he belonged among the nation’s elite as he held off Rob Darcynkiewicz of Chappaqua, N.Y. Darcynkiewicz took second in 9:03.57.
“This is by far the best time I’ve swum in this event,” said Hundeby, 18. “My goals this year are to do my best in every event, and hopefully I’ll get one of these in every event,” he said, holding up the first-place medal.
American record-holder Janet Evans of Placentia did not swim the 1,650-yard freestyle Tuesday, electing to swim her maximum four events later in the meet.
Evans, who clocked her American record time of 15:44.98 in January, will swim the 400- and 200-yard individual medley events as well as the 500- and 1,000-yard freestyles this week.