World record-holders Janet Evans and Tom Jager added to their collection of national titles Thursday and teen-ager Allison Wagner captured her third title in this year's National Swimming Championships.
Evans won the 800-meter freestyle in 8 minutes, 30.82 seconds, bringing her total of national titles to 41. The time was more than 14 seconds off her world record of 8:16.22 set in 1989, but was more than six seconds quicker than 14-year-old Brooke Bennett, who was second at 8:37.02.The championship was the second of the meet for the 22-year-old Evans, who trails only Tracy Caulkins' total of 48 national titles.
Jager, who set the world record for the 50 freestyle of 21.81 seconds in 1990, remains one of the world's fastest sprinters at the age of 29 with a time of 22.33.
It was the second fastest in the world this year, but unlike the other champions determined at the Indiana University Natatorium this week he isn't headed to next month's World Championships in Rome.
Jager won't make the trip because he disagrees with the policy set by U.S. Swimming, which requires the team to leave for Italy on Tuesday to start preparing for the Sept. 5-11 meet.
"It's what they feel they have to do to create team unity," said the three-time Olympian who came off a two-year hiatus to win his speciality in the spring nationals at 22.52 - the second fastest in the event until Thursday. "The heart of the team comes from the athletes and they don't need it shoved down their throat."
Gary Hall Jr., whose father represented the United States in three Olympics, finished second to Jager. Hall, who won the 100 freestyle Tuesday, finished in 22:46. Bill Pilczuk and Jon Olsen tied for third at 22:84 and will have a swimoff Friday to decide who will fill the spot on the U.S. team left open by Jager's decision.
Wagner added the 200 individual medley title to the 400 medly and 200 breaststroke titles the 17-year-old high school senior from Gainesville, Fla., won earlier this week. Wagner, who mixes an intense advanced academic program at Eastside High School that has already earned her spme college credit, won in 2:13.88. Nicole Haislett, a triple gold medalist in the Barcelona Olympics, was second in 2:15.64.
Other winners Thursday included Ugur Tanner in the 200 butterfly and world record-holder Jeff Rouse in the 100 backstroke.