By Duncan Scott
PHOENIX, July 24. THE featured race of the evening at the Four Corners Long Course Sectionals, being held at the Phoenix Swim Club, did not disappoint as 100 meter butterfly national champion, Dana Kirk, Tacoma, won the 200 meter event, touching at 2:13.15, 1.37 seconds ahead of the 200 meter national champion, Emily Mason of AFOX.
Kirk led all the way, though she was slightly off the new meet standard she set in the preliminaries at 2:12.43. In Mason's defense it must be noted that she was still over three seconds faster than her time a year ago when she went on to win the national title.
The next most outstanding swim here was turned in by Birte Steven, a 21 yar old athlete with Corvallis Aquatic Team in Oregon, who won the women's 200 meter breaststroke in 2:31.70, over five seconds ahead of second place, 6.3 seconds ahead of the National time standard and nearly seven seconds ahead of the meet record.
Dennis Baker who, at 41, was bidding to become the oldest-ever qualifier for the USA Swimming National Championships, fell just short of his goal twice. The three-time US Olympic Trials qualifier (1980, '84 and '88) clocked 2:06.02 in prelims and 2:06.06 in the finals of the men's 200 meter fly. The qualifying time is 2:04.69. Baker finished third.
Events continue Thursday, 9am preliminaries, 6pm finals, with the 200 meter freestyle, 400 meter individual medley and 400 meter freestyle relay.
M. Duncan Scott, Publicity, Arizona Swimming, Inc. 7/24