Weir Provides the Music at Nashville’s Music City Invitational

NASHVILLE, Dec. 15. AT the Music City Winter Invitational in Nashville, SwimAtlanta's 16-year-old Amanda Weir, fresh from her 100 free win at the U.S. Open last week, had a solid weekend, winning three events — the 50-100-200 yard frees — and taking third in the 100 fly.

Her times were 22.90, 48.96, 1:47.72 (pr) and 55.84.

She holds the 15-16 NAG records in the 50-100 frees (22.45/48.86), both from last spring's American Short Course Championships in Texas. She turns 17 in mid-Mach and will have one last crack at bettering her marks in three months during this same meet at Texas' Jamail Swim Center, site of this year's NCAA Division 1 men's championship a few weeks later.

Interestingly, Weir's 50 free pr is .01 slower than the 13-14 NAG record of 22.44 by former Tandem Swim Club star Dara Torres, who did that time exactly 20 and-a-half years ago at the spring Nationals in Gainesville.

Whom did Torres beat there after withstanding several false starts? None other than current University of Texas woman's coach Jill Sterkel, then a swimmer at Texas, who until then had never lost a 50 race in her career.

Torres of course went on to a stellar career at Florida, retired after the Barcelona Olympics, then came back for one last shot at a Big O's individual gold and made the plane to Sydney at 32. She still holds the American-record in the 50 meter free and 50 and 100 meter butterfly, and tied with teammate Jenny Thompson for the bronze at Sydney.

She's permanently retired now but Stanford grad Thompson came back after a two-year hiatus last summer — scored at Nationals in Ft. Lauderdale — and now may defer her medical school studies at Columbia until after Athens.

— Bill Bell

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