By Bill Bell
ATLANTA, GA., Feb. 18. AMANDA WEIR is in high school now and the rest of the country had better beware!
The Brookwood High freshman just a couple of months ago broke one of the oldest records on the books when she went a blazing 49.53 in the 100-yard freestyle while representing SwimAtlanta at a meet in North Carolina to set a girls' 13-14 National Age Group standard. This swim smashed the old mark of 50.02 by Suburban's Grace Cornelius that had lasted for nearly two decades.
And during the Georgia state 5A High School Champion-ships here this weekend at Atlanta's Westminster School, Weir splashed to victories (and state records) in the 100-200 frees and anchored record-setting 200-400 free relays while helping lead her team to the state title.
Brookwood wracked up 307 points to runner-up Chattahooche's 265. Third was Lassiter with 245.
On the boys' side, Parkview, led by middle-distance freestyler Mike Kaufman and IMer-flyer Eric Shanteau, won the team championship, amassing 329 points to runner-up Centennial's 193. Third was girls' champ Brookwood, 183.5.
Weir's winning times were a comparatively modest 50.63-1:51.13, with a 51.31 anchor split on the 400 free relay that splashed to a state-record 3:35.52.
However, Weir no doubt was not fully rested and tapered for this meet as she is aiming for a spot on the U.S. World Championship Team, and those trials will be held the end of next month in Austin.
In any event, Weir was a double record-setter at her first state prep championship and winning the team title no doubt made it twice as sweet.
However, several other girls turned in outstanding performances at the Championship, including Centennial's Claire Maust, who showed her heels to the field in the 500 free with a state-record 4:59.99 clocking, breaking the 5:01.95 mark she swam in the prelims. Maust also helped push Weir to the 200 record, finishing second in a pr 1:51.80.
Milton's Melissa Klein set a pair of state records herself, splashing to a 2:02.59 pr 200 IM win, one of the fastest times nationally for 2000-01 then adding the 100 breast mark (1:02.75); also among the national leaders.
Not to be left out, Brookwood's Christine Hupman added a state record while winning the 50 free (23.70) and was third in the 100 free (52.38). In the 100 fly Jenkins High's Emily Breem's 56.97 was a state record, and in the 100 back Chattohochee's Lindsay Staak touched first in 57.82, also a state standard.
On the boys' side, Parkview's Kaufman established a pair of state standards via wins in the 200-500 frees (1:40.82-4:31.34). Not to be outdone, teammate Eric Shanteau followed suit while racing to a pair of state records in the 200 IM (1:50.42) and 100 fly (51.17).
Runner-up in the fly was Jenkins' Ross Artley (51.79), who a few events later set a state standard while winning the 50 free (21.62), breaking his old mark of 21.97 from the heats.
Centennial's Bobby Rudd's 46.85 100 free win, Pope's Kevin Barkley's 52.72 100 back win and Norcross' Michael Russo's 57.59 100 breast winner were the other individual state standards set.
Norcross High, incidentally, is the old home of Steve Lundquist, a multi-NCAA Champ while at SMU in the early '80s in the 100 breast and 200 IM, and a double Olympic gold medalist at Los Angeles in the 100 meter breast (world record 1:01.65) and 400 medley relay.
Parkview's 1:38.18 was a state record in the 200 medley relay as were Centennial's 1:27.96-3:09.67 clockings in the 200-400 free relays.