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Ziegler Sets National Independent School Record in 500 Freestyle -- March 1, 2005

ROCKVILLE, Md, March 1. THE next great female distance freestyler from the United States added another accolade to her resume last weekend. Kate Ziegler established a national independent school record in the 500 freestyle during the Washington Metropolitan Interscholastic Championships.

Competing at the Montgomery County Aquatic Center, the Bishop O’Connell High (Va.) junior blistered a time of 4:37.67 in the 500 free. That time took down the 1999 independent record of 4:37.91, held by Janelle Atkinson of the Bolles School. Ziegler’s time narrowly missed the gold standard in high school swimming, Janet Evans’ 4:37.30 effort from 1988. That swim is the overall scholastic record.

For good measure, Ziegler picked up a first-place finish in the 200 freestyle with a meet-record time of 1:47.33. She also helped Bishop O’Connell to second place in the 200 and 400 free relays.

Ziegler has been on a roll since leaving the U.S. Olympic Trials last summer with a fourth-place showing in the 800 freestyle and a fifth-place mark in the 400 free. In Indianapolis last October, Ziegler earned a silver medal in the 800 free at the World Short Course Championships. A few weeks ago, she clocked an American record (8:16.32) in the 800 free during the New York stop on the FINA World Cup circuit.