AUGUSTA, GA., December 21. TOO bad Hootie wasn't there.
At the Georgia Senior State Short Course Championships last weekend here at the Augusta Aquatic Center, Dynamo's Melissa Klein and Elizabeth Hill showed what a starring role a woman can play when given the opportunity.
Dynamo's "Dynamic Duo" of Hill and Klein combined for a whopping 12 golds between them as the team raced to the women's, men's and overall titles.
Hill, a junior at suburban Atlanta's Westminster Acaademy who won the U.S. Nationals 200 meter butterfly title last spring in Minneapolis and was a part of the U.S.A.'s gold medal-winning 800 free relay team at the Pan Pacs in August at Fukuoka, came home first in the 100-200-500-1000 frees, 100-200 flys and 200 back.
Klein, a nationals' scorer who ranks in the Top 3 among 17-18 girls in the 100-200 breast and 200-400 IM, won both breast races, both medleys and the 1650 free, plus she swam the breast leg on the winning 200-400 medley relays.
Hill, coached by Ed Spencer, set a Georgia prep record at last spring's state championships with her 1:48.93 200 free, almost immediately after Brookwood sophomore Amanda Weir — racing in a different division — had first broken the 20-year-old standard with her 1:49.88.
Weir returned the favor last weekend in Nashville at the Music City Invite when she clipped some two seconds off her old pr with a 1:47.72.
These two may well go at it again in next February's state meet although Weir has a hankering to take a crack at the national high school 50 and 100 yard free records set by Michigan's Kara Lynn Joyce just a few weeks ago (22.04/48.59).
Then again, Weir and/or Hill may decide that Atlantic Del Rey High's Rhiannon Jeffrey's national prep record in the 200 free(1:45.49), set at the Florida state meet the same weekend Joyce did her times up north, has lasted long enough and go after that mark.
For that matter Hill, who ranks 13th globally this year in the 400 free (third American) with her 4:10.83 from the Nationals in Ft. Lauderdale, may aim to break Janet Evans' "unbreakable" national high-schol record in the 500 free (4:37.30) — still No. 4 on the all-time performances' list. (Evans holds the American/ NCAA record with her 4:34.39, done her freshman season at Stanford.)
Evans' prep record was swum the spring after her triple gold medal performance at the Seoul Olympics, where she won and set WRs in the 400-800 frees and also took the 400 IM title too.
Hill's winning times were 51.35, 1:49.64,4:48.61, 9:57.75 for the freestyles; 2:03.65 for the 200 back and 57.22-2:03.31 for the flys
Klein, who's rapidly developing into one of the U.S.S.'s fastest breaststroke-medley specialists under coach Alex Braunfield, has prs of 1:01.20/2:10.29 — with her 200 ranking her 14th-fastest all-time (performer). In the IMs her 200 prs are 2:00.41/4:14.31.
Klein's winning times were 1:02.02, 2:14.14, 2:02.87 (nationals' cut), 4:19.97 and 16:48.01.
– Bill Bell