U.S. Olympic Festival Roundup : Festival Swimmers Trying to Train, Not Set Records

Times Staff Writer

The U.S. Olympic Festival swimming competition ended the same way it began, which is to say all records are safe except one.

For the third consecutive evening, many of the country's finest 18-and-under swimmers had a difficult time bettering the Festival standards of previous meets. If not for John Kennedy, who established a record in the 200-meter freestyle Wednesday night, these events would have been remembered for a lot of near misses and hearty tries.

Blame the calendar. The Senior Nationals begin July 31 at Los Angeles, which means few of the Festival swimmers designed their practice programs for this week's competition.

Festival Notes

The U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame announced its class of 1989. Inductees include the members of the 1960 ice hockey team, forever known for defeating the Soviet Union and then Czechoslovakia for the golf medal at Squaw Valley; Mel Sheppard, the last American to win the 1,500-meter run or metric mile; Lee Evans, whose 400-meter sprint record stood for 20 years; Bobby Joe Morrow, who won gold medals in the 100- and 200-meter sprints in 1956, the first to do so since Jesse Owens; boxer Joe Frazier, who earned a gold in the 1964 Games; weightlifter John Davis, who won golds in 1948 and 1952, and Roone Arledge, president of ABC News. . . . Evans was asked about the controversy surrounding Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson, whose 1987 world-record time of 9.83 is under scrutiny by the International Amateur Athletic Federation because of his admitted use of steroids. "Why should a 10.2 sprinter have that record?" Evans said. "The person who takes anabolic steroids is a marginal athlete in world class competition. He should only be able to watch in on television." He added, "If (U.S. sprinters) Calvin (Smith) or Carl (Lewis) took that amount of steroids, I'm sure they could run a 9.5 or 9.4." . . . Synchronized swimming and the opening ceremonies are the only scheduled events today. . . . Hometown boy makes good: Oklahoma City's Trip Zedlitz won high point honors for the three-day meet. . . . Mission Viejo's Suzi Burt finished seventh in the 200-meter backstroke.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World
56°