LOS ANGELES, July 13. TWELVE year-old Angela Duckworth of Scottsdale Aquatics (SAC), the youngest competitor at this year's Janet Evans Invitational, finished 24th in the 1500 meter freestyle this afternoon out of 46 competitors .
Her time was 17:56.27.
Not bad, one might say.
Well, that's an awfully good time for a 12-year-old. However, what is even more impressive about her swim is her 800 split: 9:14.88, an 11-12 national age-group record, breaking the old mark of 9:15.06 by Lindsey Brackens from last year.
In 2002 Duckworth, then 11, ranked 11th among 11-12 girls with a pr of 9:39.0 — and that wasn't done en route to a 1500 free either.
The 1500 free isn't a regognized event for 12 year-olds but the 13-14 NAG record belongs to former University of Miami NCAA champ Michele Richardson, who went the current-standard 16:12.37 in 1984.
Janet Evans as a 13-14 age-grouper two years later did a 16:25.92 which ranks her third all-time.
Two years after that, Evans set the current world-record (15:52.10) at the U.S. Spring Nationals in Orlando. She is still the only woman ever under 16:00.0. That summer Evans won the 400-800 frees and the 400 IM at the Seoul Olympics and she still holds the world records in the 400-800-1500 meter freestyles as well as American/NCAA records in the 500-1000-1650 yard freestyles.
Wonder if Duckworth's parents have purchased their tickets to next year's Olympic Trials yet…