By Phillip Whitten
December 19. MELANIE Schlanger, the University of Hawaii’s top female swimmer, abruptly dropped out of school and has returned home to Australia, where she will train for her country’s Commonwealth Games Trials, according to a story by Dave Reardon in yesterday’s Honolulu Star Bulletin.
Assistant coach Chris Mooney also left for Australia, where he will coach Schlanger, UH head coach Victor Wales said. He added that he does not expect either will return to UH.
Reportedly the parting was not on good terms.
Schlanger, a sophomore and the defending WAC champion in the 100-yard freestyle, was ranked #1 in the nation in the event with a sizzling 47.94. She was also ranked second nationally in the 200 free with a 1:45.76 and had a third automatic NCAA qualifying time with a 22.37 for the 50 free.
The skies have been less than sunny for the Rainbows of late. Four years ago, coach Sam Freas left abruptly and was replaced by Mike Anderson. Last summer, Anderson was dismissed from his post without explanation when his contract expired, and was replaced by Wales. Mooney, who was an assistant under Anderson, applied for the job, but did not get it. He remained as an assistant until Schlanger decided to leave. Her departure was no surprise, as she was outspoken and very upset when Anderson’s contract was not renewed.