Whitney Phelps established herself as one of America's rising female swimming stars Friday by winning the 200-meter butterfly in 2 minutes, 11.04 seconds at the National Swimming Championships.
The 14-year-old's time was the third best in the world this year. Only Limin Liu and Zhu Hong, both of China, have gone faster.Phelps, who will be a freshman at Towson High School this fall and represents the North Baltimore Aquatic Club, won her championship in a final that included four former national champions in the event. Sarah Anderson, who had the fastest qualifying time but was last after the first 50 meters, finished second in 2:12.83 and Michelle Griglione, the recent Goodwill Games champion who won the event in this year's spring nationals was third in 2:13.00.
"I knew that I had a chance to win. I didn't think about the competition," Phelps said.
Other winners determined Friday on the final day to qualify for next month's World Championships at Rome included Olympic silver medalist Greg Burgess, 200 individual medley, 2:00.90; Amy Van Dyken, 50 freestyle, 25.37; three-time national mile champion Carlton Bruner, 1,500 free, 15:12.37; and Barbara Bedford, 200 back, 2:11.29.