SWIMMING : Phelps, 14, Watches Star Rise With Swift 200

From Associated Press

Whitney Phelps established herself as one of America’s rising female swimming stars Friday by winning the 200-meter butterfly in 2 minutes 11.04 seconds at the National Swimming Championships.

The 14-year-old’s time was the third best in the world this year. Only Limin Liu and Zhu Hong, both of China, have gone faster.

Phelps, of Towsend, Md., won her championship in a final that included four former national champions. Sarah Anderson, who had the fastest qualifying time but was last after the first 50 meters, finished second in 2:12.83 and Michelle Griglione, the recent Goodwill Games champion who won the event in this year’s spring nationals was third in 2:13.00.

“I knew that I had a chance to win. I didn’t think about the competition,” Phelps said.


Other winners on the final day to qualify for next month’s World Championships at Rome included Olympic silver medalist Greg Burgess, 200 individual medley, 2:00.90; Amy Van Dyken, 50 freestyle, 25.37; three-time national mile champion Carlton Bruner, 1,500 freestyle, 15:12.37, and Barbara Bedford, 200 backstroke, 2:11.29.

The meet ends today with the women’s 1,500 freestyle and the men’s 800 freestyle--two non-Olympic events excluded from the World Championships.

Jenny Thompson, who set the American record of 25.20 at the 1992 Olympic trials, was third in the 50 freestyle in 25.91 as she failed to win her third national championship of the meet.

Chad Carvin also failed to become a triple winner. The winner of the 200- and 400-freestyle events finished second to Bruner in 15:15.54 in 1,500 freestyle.