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`BIONIC’ WOMAN RULES BUTTERFLY AT NATIONALS

SHARE `BIONIC’ WOMAN RULES BUTTERFLY AT NATIONALS

Jenny Thompson, the bionic woman of American swimming with a plate and seven screws holding her left arm together, scored her second victory Wednesday in the National Swimming Championships.

Thompson won the 100-meter butterfly in 1 minute, 0.34 seconds, catching runner-up Amy Van Dyken just before the finish with a final split of 32.04 seconds. Van Dyken was second in 1:00.57."I was really nervous coming into this meet. I didn't know what to expect," said Thompson, who had surgery June 3 to repair the arm she broke while riding a waterslide on the Stanford campus. "I'm beginning to think I should break my arm a little more often, because I'm doing better in this nationals than I've done in a lot of nationals."

The injury and surgery raised doubts in Thompson's mind if she would be able to swim the butterfly this week.

"I haven't swam the fly since NCAAs (March 17-19). It was a little nerve-racking. I did a little mental visualization and thought about it," said Thompson, adding that she didn't decide to compete in the event until two weeks ago.

"Going into this season, one of my goals . . . was to break the world record in the 100 fly. Things kind of came to a halt when I broke my arm," she said. "I still have that as one of my goals."

Mary T. Meagher set the 100 record of 57.93 in 1981 and is the only swimmer to break 59 seconds in the event.

In men's competition at the Indiana University Natatorium, Chad Carvin and Seth van Neerden each recorded their second victory in the competition which is being used to select the U.S. team that will participate in next month's World Championships at Rome.

Kelli King-Bednar won Wednesday's other event, completing the 100 backstroke in 1:10.46. Rachel Gustin was second in 1:10.53.

Carvin, who set American records while winning the 500- and 1,650-yard freestyle events for Arizona in this year's NCAA meet, had a personal best of 3:49.83 in winning the 400 freestyle. It was the third personal best for the 20-year old Carvin, who won the 200 freestyle earlier and finished third in the 400 individual medley.

Van Neerden, the 26-year-old from Wilmington, Del., added the 200 breaststroke title to the 100 breast championship he won earlier this week.