By John Lohn
BALTIMORE, Maryland, December 14. ONE week after announcing her presence on the national stage at the U.S. Open, Katie Hoff continued to dazzle at the North Baltimore Aquatic Club's Christmas Invitational, held at Loyola College.
Oh, and Michael Phelps did a little bit, too.
Swimming for NBAC, the 14-year-old Hoff collected a pair of individual NAG 13-and-14 records Saturday night and added a third mark in relay competition. In the process, she erased the name of a legend from the record book.
Clocking 4:11.66 in the open 400-yard individual medley, Hoff edged Marianne Limpert, a three-time Olympian from Canada, and broke the NAG record of Molly Houlton, who went 4:12.43 earlier this year.
Hoff then went out and blistered a 2:12.08 effort in the 200-yard breaststroke, breaking the 1991 record of Olympian Anita Nall, an NBAC product. Nall's record had stood at 2:12.54.
For good measure, Hoff led off the NBAC 800 free relay (13-14-year-old) that claimed an NAG record of 7:31.98. The former mark was set by Mission Viejo in 1978 at 7:34.58. Hoff led off in 1:48.00 and was followed by Courtney Kalisz, Allison Barnes and Jackie Gonzalez. Kalisz won the 13-14 400 I.M. in a solid 4:24.95.
In addition to her 200 I.M. (1:58.27) NAG mark from Friday night, which bettered a record of Natalie Coughlin, Hoff has four NAG records in two days. She also broke the 200-meter I.M. mark last week at the U.S. Open. For good reason, Hoff has emerged as a challenger for Olympic Team berths. The youngster should push Maggie Bowen and Kaitlin Sandeno in the 400 I.M. and could be in the mix, behind Amanda Beard, in the 200 breast.
As for Phelps, the world's most versatile swimmer delivered three more victories, taking the 50 free (20.15), 200 breast (1:57.33) and 500 free (4:18.69) in waltzing fashion. He also led off the NBAC 800 free relay in 1:37.58. That relay prevailed as Kevin Clements, Cory Knopp and Nico Zebley closed out the win.
Clements, an Olympic hopeful and second-fastest American ever in the 200 I.M., won the 400 I.M. in 3:52.45 and was second in the 500 free in 4:30.86. Jamie Barone, another NBAC competitor, was second in the 200 breast in a quality 1:59.67.