KLETE KELLER'S DIARY -- August 30, 2000
KLETE KELLER'S DIARY
(ONE of the great stories to come out of the US Olympic Trials earlier this month, was Klete Keller--6'6" tall, just 18 and a freshman-to-be at the University of Southern California. Keller came storming from behind in the final 100 meters to win the 400 meter freestyle and break the 12-year-old American record with his time of 3:47.18, second in the world this year behind Australia's Ian Thorpe.
In the 200 free, he earned a spot on the USA's 4 x 200 meter freestyle relay. Eighth at the 50, 100 and 150 meter turns, he poured it on in the final lap to finish fourth in 1:48.99. Clearly, Klete Keller is on target to become one of the greatest middle-distance and distance swimmers in history.
Last year, Keller entered his first open water event since he was a 12 year-old. The result: an upset victory at the US 5K open water championship, which earned him a trip to Melbourne, Australian to compete in the Pan Pacific 5K open water championship. Once again, he upset the field, coming from behind to win the gold.
Klete has a younger sister, Kalyn, 15, who is also a pretty good swimmer. Kalyn was fourth in the 800 free in Indy (8:38). Two days later, she won the women's open water 5K and earned herself a trip to Hawaii to swim in the open water World Championships later this fall.
How will Klete do in Sydney? No one knows, but one thing is for sure: He knows how to be patient, stay cool and swim his own race.
What's it like to be 18, a member of the US Olympic team and going to the Olympic Games for the first time in your life? Over the next three weeks, Klete will share his thoughts, observations, feelings and insights with us through this continuing diary on swiminfo.com.)
PASADENA, August 30.
TRAINING has been going very well here with the US Olympic team. I have never before swum as fast as I have been swimming in workout here. Erik Vendt and I go at it every day, and a couple of times [coach] Jon Urbanchek has had to remind us that it is a recovery workout and we had better slow down.
Everyone seems to be pretty fired up. We had a spirit meeting last night and we came up with some pretty humorous and serious cheers. Getting outfitted in San Diego was fun. We went to this big warehouse building. There were about 20 stations, where we got everything from a gold ring and leather jacket to socks and shoes.
My roommate is Tom Malchow (maybe they picked roommates by height). We have been getting along very well. Tom brought tons of DVDs so I have been watching a lot of those. A lot of time at the hotel is spent playing "James Bond" on Nintendo. Ii think that if we are as competitive at the Olympic Games as some of the guys are at playing Nintendo, we'll be in good shape in Sydney.
That's all for now. I'll write again on Friday.