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TEUSCHER TAKES OVER AT NATIONALS

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Cristina Teuscher is taking the lead in the new generation.

In 1992, Teuscher watched Nicole Haislett's gold-medal performance in the 200-meter freestyle and the rest of the U.S. women's swim team dominate at the Barcelona Olympics.On Monday night, Teuscher made her own memory when she beat Haislett in the same event at the National Swimming Championships at the Indiana University Natatorium.

"I wasn't really thinking of winning. I just wanted to do my best time," Teuscher said.

Haislett led most of the way before Teuscher pulled ahead in the final 50 meters to win in 1 minute, 59.71 seconds, .22 ahead of Haislett.

Teuscher had already qualified for the World Championships in Rome by finishing fourth in the 100 freestyle Sunday night. Haislett finished in a tie for second in that event.

"She's got great competitiveness, and once she gets into the finals, she's dangerous," said John Collins, Teuscher's coach. "She likes to win."

"Someone said it looked like I never really changed gears in the last 50," Haislett said. "I felt buried - I just couldn't hold her off."

Haislett cited Teuscher as one of the up-and-coming U.S. women swimmers that should make an impact in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.

"There's going to be a whole new batch of people - that's how it works," she said. "That's how U.S. swimming survives."

In other events, Mark Henderson set a 1994 world-best of 53.60 in the men's 100 butterfly, ahead of Brian Alderman's 53.88.

Eric Namesnik won the 400 individual medley with a time of 4:14.41, more than three seconds better than second-place finisher Tom Dolan.

During trials, Namesnik nearly recaptured the American record that Dolan took away during the spring nationals, but his time of 4:13.67 was about a tenth of a second off.

In the women's 200 breaststroke, Allison Wagner won in 2:28.86, 1.05 seconds better than Kristine Quance. The pair finished 1-2 Sunday in the 100 individual medley.

Henderson quit swimming after failing to make the 1992 Olympic team, but returned to the sport that fall while attending the University of California at Berkeley.

He hooked up with new coach Roque Santos, whom he roomed with during the Olympic trials, and began intense training this past spring.