PHOENIX, Arizona, October 27. THIS week, Rewind turned the time machine dial back to the 1983 U.S. Short Course National Championships.
In the final yard meet before the U.S. turned its eyes completely to meter-training for the 1984 Olympics, Mission Viejo held off Florida to win its fifth consecutive combined team trophy, and its sixth title in seven years.
Here is an excerpt of the story written by our current senior editor Bob Ingram in the June issue of Swimming World Magazine that year.
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – It was Saturday night and time to party. The 1983 Phillips 66/United States Swimming Short Course Championships, held April 6-9 at the IU Natatorium at Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis were over.
Fort Lauderdale's head coach, Jack Nelson, hosted an assorted gathering of swimmers, coaches, parents and friends at a local Italian restaurant. In between bites of pizza and spaghettini, nearly every one of the 100-or-so guests took turns congratulating each other for outstanding performances, sharing hopes and goals for the future and, as typical at a party, telling jokes…
Well, you might say that U.S. Swimming wasn't equipped with its complete arsenal either, but the swimmers who were there got the job done.
Absent from the ranks were several USS and NCAA defending champions: Mary T. Meagher, Marybeth Linzmeier, Jill Sterkel, Sippy Woodhead, Sara Linke, Sue Habernigg, Angelika Knipping, Peng Siong-Ang, Ricardo Prado, Dave Bottom, Mike Orn, George DiCarlo and Matt Gribble (who had to leave halfway through the meet because of a pulled back muscle and had to miss his premier event, the 100 fly).
But even without those stars at Nationals, there were nearly 1,200 swimmers on hand at Indianapolis – the largest number of swimmers since the 1974 Short Course Nationals at Dallas, Texas, which also had 1,200.
And of those 1,200, there was still enough talent to produce a faster meet than last year at Gainesville, Fla., including seven American records (see the accompanying box with the lists of records set at this year's Nationals).
The USS women clocked faster times than were swum at NCAA Championships in 10 of 16 events. Three American records were set at Nationals, compared to two at NCAAs.
The NCAA Men's Championships, however, were faster than the USS men's competition, even though USS meet records were set in five events and two American records were bettered from NCAAs.
And this year's team race was one of the more exciting in recent years since there were two teams (Mission Viejo and Florida) still vying for top honors by the last day rather than the complete domination of one team as in the past.
For the complete Swimming World Magazine article on the 1983 Short Course Championships, click here.
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