Her main goal accomplished, Kristine Quance merely wanted to avoid a letdown Thursday night at the Phillips 66 National Swimming Championships.
Her victory in the 400 individual medley the previous night had assured Quance, formerly of Granada Hills High and now a junior at USC, of a spot in the Pan Pacific Championships next week.
But Quance’s fifth-place finish in the 100 breaststroke final at the Rose Bowl Aquatics Center appeared to be exactly what she didn’t want.
However, since the 100 is probably the weakest of Quance’s four individual events, she remained unperturbed.
“It took me forever to get to sleep [after her victory], so I was a little worried about the 100,” Quance said. “The sprint is tough for me but I felt good the whole way.”
Quance got off to a good start and was near the leaders after 25 meters. But she wasn’t able to make a move to take the lead as she did in the 400 individual medley. She finished in 1:11.12, .39 below her preliminary time.
Amanda Beard, 13, of Irvine, won the event in 1:10.37, becoming one of the youngest champions in nationals history.
Quance is one of the few elite area swimmers to realize pre-meet goals.
Buenaventura’s Rebecca Gilman is among those who had to rethink their priorities as the week progressed.
Gilman, 15, placed in four events at the Spring Nationals, but found a degree of satisfaction in simply qualifying for the 400 freestyle consolation final.
She couldn’t advance to the championship final though her time of 4:17.88 was only .22 off her best.
In the consolation final, Gilman was just under a half-second slower, finishing fourth in 4:18.33, but she completed the final 100 meters in 1:03.42--fastest among the top six finishers.
“Each time I come to nationals it’s been a new experience,” Gilman said. “But with all these top swimmers here, it’s really different. This is a whole new atmosphere.”
Gilman’s goal this week shifted from placing in the finals to bettering her times. In the 800 freestyle Monday, Gilman chopped almost three seconds off her top time, placing 12th.
She finished 19th in the 200 freestyle Wednesday and swims today in the 1500 freestyle, one of her stronger events.
“The week has been a little disappointing,” Gilman said. “My times haven’t been that bad but I still hoped to do a little better.”
Although Gilman found her measure of success, her teammate, Nicole Beck, continued to find rough water.
In the 100 backstroke preliminaries, Beck faded in the final 50 meters, finishing 56th in 1:06.48, more than a second slower than her qualifying time.
Jennifer Parmenter of Granada Hills placed 23rd in the 100 backstroke after finishing 18th in the 200 backstroke and fourth in the 400 individual medley.
Jason Stelle, a 1991 graduate of Agoura High, qualified for his second consolation final in the 100 backstroke. Steele bettered his preliminary time by more than half a second (56.85), good enough for a second-place finish.
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