Day 1: Phillips 66 National Championships -- July 26, 1997
The top 2 finishers in each event earn a spot on the 1998 World Championship Team. The 3rd and 4th finishers in the 100m freestyle and 200m freestyle will earn a trip to the World Championships as relay members. The 5th and 6th swimmers in the 100m freestyle and 200m freestyle are virtually guaranteed a spot on the team too (provided that there are enough doubles).
Women's 100m freestyle:
Jenny Thompson is definitely back on track with her win the 100m freestyle. The win made her the first person to make the 1998 World Championship Team, to be held early next year in Perth, Australia. She swam a 54.95 in the morning and came back at night with 54.96. In the process, Thompson broke Angel Martino's World Championship Trials record.
Amy Van Dyken came in a very respectable second to earn her trip to Perth with a fast 55.66. This had to be a pleasant surprise to Van Dyken and her NRT coach, Jonty Skinner because of the fact that Van Dyken only started swimming a couple months ago.
Lindsey Farella of Palatine Park finished 3rd and 1996 Olympic gold medalist Melanie Valerio finished 4th to make the Team in the 400m freestyle relay.
Men's 100m breaststroke:
The 100m breaststroke was won by 1996 Olympian and former Stanford star, Kurt Grote. He upset Jeremy Linn, the 1996 Olympic silver medalist in this event. Grote's time of 1:01.45 moved him ahead of the great Steve Lundquist, to 4th on the all-time U.S. list.
Women's 400 IM:
Kristine Quance re-established her dominance in the 400 IM. Her time of 4:39.67 marked the first time since 1993, that Quance has gone sub-4:40.
With the absence of the 1996 Olympic silver medalist in the 400 IM, Allison Wagner, Maddy Crippen surprised everybody by grapping the number 2 position. The up-an-coming 17-year-old from Foxcatcher shocked the field with a 4:40.80.
Most of the disappointment had to be felt by Rose Bowl's Jennifer Parmenter. The 2-time defending champion and heir-apparent in this event faded to 4th. Parmenter, however, will have more opportunities to make the Team later in the meet.
Men's 200m freestyle:
1996 Olympic gold medalist Josh Davis edged out "Mr. Comeback" Chad Carvin to win the 200m freestyle. Davis touched out Carvin, 1:49:00 to 1:49.17.
1996 Olympic silver medalist Tom Malchow, more known for his butterfly expertise finished 3rd and 1996 Olympian John Piersma finished 4th to make the Team in 800m freestyle relay.