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Amanda Weir Poised To Become Top U.S. Sprinter -- November 6, 2002

AUBURN, Alabama, November 5. WHEN then 15-year-old Amanda Weir set national age-group records in the 50 and 100 yard freestyles at last March's All-America Invitational in Austin (22.45/48.86), the question became: what'll she do for an encore.

Well, young Ms. Weir served notice here last weekend that "you ain't seen nuthin' yet."

Competing in the senior division of the War Eagle Invitational at the home of the defending NCAA Division 1 women's champs, Weir, a speedster who rerpesents SwimAtlanta, won the 50 (22.62), 100 (49.34) and 200 frees (1:48.93) and the 100 fly (56.74). She also collected a runner-up in the 100 back to Auburn froshwoman Jeri Moss (56.60-58.01); was fourth in the 200 IM (2:08+) and sixth in the 500 free.

Weir's times are outstanding for this early in the season with her 50 fastest nationally -- high school, college, USS. Weir says she is confident she can break her two NAG records before season's end. Her 200 free pr is a 1:48.86 from last season that ranked her fifth on the NAG list, so a 1:48.9 in November bodes well for the future in that race too..

However, she's got a ways to go before she'll catch the NAG record-holder here. That record is a 1:44.10 by former Riverside Aquatics' age-group wunderkind (and Olympic silver medalist) Cynthia Woodhead, wsho swam the time at the then AAU Nationals in East Los Angeles in April of 1979.

Woodhead's time, which she was never able to improve upon, still ranks her as the sixth-fastest performer all-time (12th performance)

We figure Weir will be due for a vacation in the Mediterranean come 21 months from now. And at the rate she's improving, a spot on the plane to Athens in August of '04 is not at all out of the realm of possibility.

-- Bill Bell