Flash! Ziegler Shatters Evans' World Record in 1500 Freestyle
MISSION VIEJO, California, June 17. SHE'S been tracking her idol for years, winning world titles and living up to the high expectations placed on her shoulders. Sunday night, swimming at the TYR Meet of Champions in Mission Viejo, California, Kate Ziegler passed Janet Evans on the long-course scene. Contesting the 1500 freestyle, Ziegler lopped an unheard of 10 seconds from Evans' 1988 standard of 15:52.10.
Already the winner of the 200, 400 and 800 freestyles at the meet, Ziegler saved her best for last and went 15:42, a time that is almost unfathomable. Ziegler, the two-time defending world champ in the 800 and 1500 freestyles, has been compared to Evans since she arrived as a rising force on the national scene. At the World Championships earlier this year in Melbourne, Ziegler posted a mark of 15:53.05, the second-fastest in history at that moment.
In Mission Viejo, she attacked the 30-lap event with a vengeance, moving ahead of world-record pace from the get-go. Obviously, since she broke the record by 10 seconds, there was never a question whether she would remain on target. It was only a matter of how low she would take the record, which was the oldest on the books, set March 26, 1988 in Orlando.
Considering Ziegler broke the oldest effort by such a large margin, one has to consider the swim as the finest performance in history. Forever, debate will rage as to which swims are the most impressive, but Ziegler at least can make a strong case for the distinction. Ziegler, of course, is trained by Ray Benecki of The Fish.
Check SwimmingWorldMagazine.com for more coverage of Ziegler's record-breaking swim.