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This day in sports: Kate Ziegler shatters 1,500-meter freestyle record

Kate Ziegler prepares to swim in the women's 800-meter freestyle during the 2012 U.S. Olympic trials.
(Mark Humphrey / Associated Press)

Kate Ziegler broke swimming’s oldest world record on this date in 2007 when she shattered the women’s 1,500-meter freestyle mark by 9½ seconds at the Mission Viejo Aquatic Center.

Ziegler, of Great Falls, Va., won the 15-lap race in 15 minutes 42.54 seconds, to handily beat Janet Evans’ mark of 15:52.10 set in March of 1988. At the time, Evans was the first woman to break 16 minutes in the event. That happened three months before Ziegler was born.

Ziegler’s mouth fell open when she looked at the clock. “I saw I was almost 10 seconds faster,” she said of the record. “I thought I looked at the wrong lane.”

This week, the Dodgers were scheduled to play the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday in the third of a four-game series at Dodger Stadium. The Angels were scheduled to play a day game in Oakland against the Athletics.

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At 6 feet 5 and 262 pounds, Terrell Lewis adds size, speed and a potentially disruptive presence to a Rams pass rush that is led by star Aaron Donald.

Other memorable games and outstanding sports performances on this date:

1954 — Rocky Marciano retains his world heavyweight title when he beats Ezzard Charles in a 15-round unanimous decision at Yankee Stadium in New York. Charles fires a series of left hooks that open a cut under Marciano’s eye in the fourth round. The two fighters trade punches at will into the late rounds when Marciano wears down Charles, who Marciano uses as a punching bag until the bell rings at the end of Round 15.

1961 Gene Littler shoots a 68 in the final round to edge Doug Sanders and Bob Goalby in the U.S. Open at Oakland Hills Country Club outside Detroit. Littler’s total for four rounds is one-over-par 281 and the victory is his only major championship. He trails Sanders by three shots when the final round starts but Sanders falls back with a 72 in the final round to finish tied with Goalby.

1962 — Jack Nicklaus beats Arnold Palmer by three strokes in a playoff to win the U.S. Open at Oakmont Country Club in western Pennsylvania, 40 miles from Palmer’s home in Latrobe. Palmer has a chance to win in regulation but misses a 10-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole and the two greats of the game finish tied at one-under-par 283. In the playoff, Nicklaus leads by two shots on the 18th hole, which he bogeys, but Palmer can’t take advantage and makes a double-bogey.

1962 — Brazil tops Czechoslovakia 3-1 at National Stadium in Santiago, Chile, to win its second straight World Cup soccer title. For the first time in World Cup play, the average number of goals per game drops below three. With the score tied 1-1 entering the second half, Zito gives Brazil the lead in the 69th minute and Vava adds a goal in the 77th.

1973 — Johnny Miller overwhelms the course at Oakmont Country Club when he shoots a 63 in the final round to win the U.S. Open by one stroke over John Schlee. Miller’s eight-under-par performance is the lowest score in major championship history. The lanky shaggy blond from Napa starts the final round three shots over par and six off the lead behind a group of players that includes Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Arnold Palmer. Miller moves to the top of the leaderboard on the 15th hole with a 10-foot birdie putt.

1976 The 18-team NBA absorbs four of the six remaining teams in the American Basketball Assn. — the New York Nets, the Indiana Pacers, the San Antonio Spurs and the Denver Nuggets. The Nets had beaten the Nuggets earlier in six games for the final ABA championship. Bad business decisions hurt the struggling league, including its failure to copyright the red, white and blue ball, which would sell wildly in the 1970s.

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1990 — Harry Gant, 50, becomes the oldest driver to win a NASCAR Winston Cup race when he finishes first in the Miller Genuine Draft 500 at Pocono International Raceway at Long Pond, Pa. Gant, driving an Oldsmobile for owner Leo Jackson, averages 120.6 mph for the 200-lap event. He betters retired Bobby Allison, who had won a race at age 50 in 1988, by 162 days.

1991 Payne Stewart escapes with a two-stroke victory over Scott Simpson — at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minn., outside Minneapolis — in the highest-scoring U.S. Open playoff in 64 years. Stewart overcomes a two-shot deficit with three holes to play to claim his second major championship. Simpson bogeys the final three holes and ends up with a five-over-par 77.

2010 — The Lakers beat the Boston Celtics 83-79 for the first time in a Game 7 to repeat as NBA champions. Kobe Bryant scores 23 points despite making only six of 24 shots. The Lakers, who scored just 34 points in the first half, rally from 13 points down in the third quarter to win their 16th title in the franchise’s history. Metta World Peace scores 20 for the Lakers and Paul Pierce leads the Celtics with 18.

Sources: The Times, Associated Press


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