LONG ISLAND, NY, July 20. DO'T tell "Dr." Jenny Thompson she should be hitting the books instead of the water.
The Columbia Medical School student, America's most decorated female Olympian who retired after Sydney, has come back this summer and is showing all the doubters there's lots of life left in them there legs (and arms).
Thompson went a seasonal-best 25.96 to win the 50 free in the Long Island Grand Prix at the Goodwill Games Pool here this evening, then came back and took third in the 200 free (2:05.46). Rutgers' Casmera Wick won the race in 2:04.66.
Can she be a factor at Nationals in Ft. Lauderdale in less than a month, maybe even make the plane to Yokohama (site of the Pan-Pac Championships)? The way JT's swimming you could go broke betting against her.
"That's my goal for the year, to becompetitive at Nationals and hopefully make the Pan-Pac team. As for my 'career' afterwards, well, I've got a lot of big decisions to make," she said, alluding to whether she should return to Columbia this fll or perhaps start training full-time in hopes of making the team to Athens.
Another "Oldie but Goodie," 30-year-old former Michigan star Gustavo Borges, scored a pair of wins this evening with his 23.54 50 and then 1:53.25-1:53.39 200 free win over Stanford soph Jayme Cramer.
Borges is the only swimmer ever to win the NCAA 100 free four years running and was a key player on Michigan's 1994 NCAA Championship team — along
with a guy named Dolan.
It's hard to see what Borges is training for this year, save perhaps thinking about the World Championships in Barcelona next summer or Athens two
eyars hence, as there's no major end-of-season meet he's eligible to attend this season. Brazil's not a Pacific Rim nation so he's not going to Pan-Pacs.
In any event, the Brazilian native by way of Bolles and then Ann Arbor has three golds (he won the 100 free last night) and is still able to show swimmers a decade-plus his junior how to win.
Another Brazilian, Gator's Carlos Jaime, who competed for the University of Florida last season, was runner-up in the 50 (23.92).
Some other winners from Saturday included Upper Main Line and Penn State's Corrie Clark in the 200 breast (2:38.33); Gator's and the University of Florida's Ian Chadsey in the men's 200 breast (2:22.27); Michigan's and the Long Island Aquatic Club's Brendan Nelligan in the 400 IM (4:36.94); and Notre Dame's Marie Labosky on the women's side (4:56.64).
Nelligan was Big 10 Swimmer of the Year this past season.
– Bill Bell