SANTA CLARA, Calif., USA, June 23. EXPECTATIONS for fast swimming have surrounded the Santa Clara Invitational for the last week. After all, some of the biggest names in the sport are attending the competition, one of the final tuneups for the World Championships.
Well, the event certainly got off to a flying start on Thursday night, as Kate Ziegler obliterated the meet record in the 1,500 freestyle. Considered the newest American distance star, Ziegler (The Fish) notched a clocking of 16:11.23, good for a 33-second triumph over teammate Chloe Sutton.
A medal contender in Montreal in the distance-free events, Ziegler opened an early lead at the George F. Haines International Swim Center. Her winning time easily bettered her own meet record of 16:20.45, established last year.
Japan’s Sachiko Yamada, swimming for the Mission Viejo Nadadores, claimed third place in 16:44.31. The fourth-place finisher was Jennifer Narum (16:45.16) and fifth place went to Blake Hayter (16:58.09).
While Ziegler dominated in the 1,500 free, Ricardo Monasterio (Gator) earned a tight decision in the men’s 800 free. Monasterio clocked in at 8:06.95, just ahead of the 8:07.55 effort of Jan Wolfgarten. Justin Mortimer secured third place in 8:13.55, slightly quicker than the 8:13.93 of Michael Klueh.
The meet continues Friday through Sunday and will feature the likes of Michael Phelps, Aaron Peirsol, Brendan Hansen, Natalie Coughlin and Mary DeScenza.