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Melissa Klein Is Hot at Speedo Challenge Southern Champs -- March 15, 2001

SAVANNAH, GA. DYNAMO stars Melissa Klein, Mike Kauffman and North Carolinian Meredith Green were the big winners at this weekend's Southern Zone/Eastern Section Speedo Challenge here.

Klein is a troker-individual medley specialist who helped lead her high school team, Milton Academy, to fifth-place at the Georgia state championships last month and set state records in the 100 breast (1:02.75) and 200 IM (2:02.72) In the Speedo Challenge she won the 100-200 troke and 200-400 IM in 1:02.64, 2:14+, 2:01.45 and 4:17.78.

However, in the prelims she was considerably faster, racing to prs of 1:02.19, 2:12.67, 2:01.44 and 4:14.31 -- all times that would get the 16-year-old budding star into this weekend's NCAA Division I Championships at the Goodwill Games Pool on Long Island were she in college.

Klein's previous pr in the 100 breast was that 1:02.75 that set the Georgia prep record and she lowered her prs in the other events by several seconds in each.

It may be premature for her to think in terms of making this year's U.S. World Championship Team during the trials later this month in Austin, but certainly Athens in three years is not necessarily out of reach.

Teammate Kauffman, 17, a distance freestyler-flyer, was a real workhorse during thr four-day comeptition, winning the 500 free (4:23.30), 1000 (9:04.92), 1650 (15:09.80), 200 fly (1:49.60), 200 IM 1:52.78 with a 1:51.99 pr in the heats), and the 400 IM (3:56.09).

To make sure he didn't get into any "mischief" during his "down" time the Dynamo coaching staff had him anchoring the winning 800 free relay and swimming third leg on the winning 400 sprint relay.

NCAC's Green, a 17-year-old, fared well in the women's distances, winning the 1000 free (9:48.18) and 1650 (16:22.85). This latter time would have gotten into the NCAA DI meet too.


-- Bill Bell

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