Janet Evans figured her swimming career ended two years ago. Her competition probably wishes it did.
By winning the 400-meter freestyle Tuesday, Evans set a record for winning a single event in the National Swimming Championships with her 11th triumph. It was the four-time Olympic gold medalist's 40th overall national title.She has finished first in the 400 freestyle 24 times in 25 starts at the national or major international level, and has held the world record since 1988.
But the gold and silver medals she won at the Olympics in Barcelona appeared as if they would be reminders of her last major competition.
"After '92 (Olympics), I really never saw myself doing this again because I didn't really enjoy it. I didn't have fun, and I was really bitter about it," Evans said at the Indiana University Natatorium.
Evans, whose three Olympic golds in the 1988 Olympics earned her the Sullivan Award as the nation's top amateur athlete, won her latest title in 4 minutes, 8.78 seconds. The time by the 22-year-old was the fastest in the world in the event this year and extended her domination of the race which dates back to the 1986 Goodwill Games.
Sixteen-year-old Cristina Teuscher, who will be a junior at New Rochelle High School in New York this fall, finished second in 4:11.20 as she qualified for her fourth event in the World Championships. Brooke Bennett, a 14-year-old from Tampa, Fla., finished third at 4:13.78.
Evans broke the record for national titles in one event that she shared with Mel Stewart, who dominated the 200 butterfly.
Other champions determined Tuesday were Gary Hall Jr. in the 100 freestyle, Lea Loveless in the 100 backstroke and Brad Bridgewater in the 200 backstroke.