CITY OF COMMERCE, Calif., March 4. ADRIENNE Binder isn't just dreaming of becoming the next Janet Evans.
She's on her way to surpassing Evans' exploits — or at least giving it a good shot.
At the California-Nevada Speedo Championships here over last weekend Binder, who swims for Coach Ira Klein at the Santa Barbara Swim Club, clocked history's third-fastest 1650 with her pr 15:42.44.
Evans, triple Olympic gold medalist at Seoul 15 years ago and still world record-holder in the 400, 800 and 1500 meter freestyles — plus American/NCAA record-holder in the 500-1000-1650 frees — set the "mile" record while a sophomore at Stanford with her 15:39.14 clocking at the 1990 NCAAs in Austin.
Binder did a 15:42.44 Sunday, two seconds slower than the 15:40+ that SMU sophomore Flavia Rigamonti — a Swiss Olympian — swam to win the WAC title at San Antonio Saturday evening. That time is now history's second-fastest performance.
Binder's swim ranks her third on both the all-time performers' and performances' lists and is the best non-collegiate 1650 ever.
The San Marcos High senior had gone 15:48.88 at last year's Sppeedo meet in Las Vegas, so 12 months later she's six seconds faster — and still improving.
She also swam a 4:43.26 500 free, just off her pr of 4:42.75 from last spring's CIF Championships at Belmont Plaza.
In the 1000 free she went a pr 9:31.28 which, were she in college, would rank her No. 1 nationally.
Her splirs were even more astonishing. In the 1000, she split 4:44.54 at the 500. In the 1650, she was 4:43.71 at the 500 and 9:30.14 at the 1000 — even faster than her nation-leading 1000.
Binder's coach, Ira Klein, understandably was brimming over with enthusiasm Sunday night: "Tonight we witnessed one of the all time greatest swims in a non-national meet with Adrienne's 15:42.44. I know Rigamonti just went 15:40, but like Evans' record swim, it was done in a championship meet where she swam possibly a max of five times.
"In this four day sectional meet," he noted, "Adrienne swam no fewer than 13 times before this event. On the first day she went the 1000 free in 9:31.28, the fastest time by an American since 1990. Tonight she went out to her 1650 in 9:30.14!"
Over the weekend, Binder swam the 100 & 200 fly, 200 & 400 IM (second in 4:16.12), 200 free (second in 1:49.33), 500 free and the 400 and 800 free relays before swimming her incredible 1650.
There were some other good times at the meet. Perhaps the biggest surprise — besides Binder's mile swim — was in the women's 200 fly and 400 IM. Here double Olympic gold-medalist Yana Klochkova of Ukraine won both in times that would easily qualify her for the NCAA Div. I Championships: 1:57.51 for the fly and 4:11.12 for the 400 IM.
Klochkova won both IMs at Sydney and set the current world record in the 400, a race she also won a year later in Fukuoka at the World Championships. But she was upset in the 200 IM by the USA's Maggie Bowen, who will be looking to repeat this summer at the Worlds in Barcelona come July.
Klochkova swam an Olympic record 2:10.72 200 IM at Sydney. That time is second on the all-time perforamanes' list to China's Wu Yanyan's world record 2:09.72 from the '97 National Games in Shanghai.
In case you're wondering, don't look for Klochkova to turn up on some college coach's deck any time soon (save perhaps as an assistant coach). She's been a pro since before the Olympics and thus ineligible for NCAA competition.
NOVA's Jason Lezak dominated the men's sprints, going 19.7 – 43.8. Mission's Larsen Jensen was king of the men's distances (4:24 – 9:07 – 15:16) and a newcomer — NOVA's Albert Sung — won the men's backstrokes (48.43-1:45.52).