14 Year-Old Elaine Breeden Swims Like a Symphony at Music City Invite -- December 18, 2002
NASHVILLE, Tenn., December 18. SWIMATLANTA sprinter Amanda Weir wasn't the only hot-shot age-grouper to excel at last weekend's Winter Invitational here in the Tracy Caulkins Competition Pool.
Indeed not, as 14-year-old Elaine Breeden, competing for the Kentucky Wildcat Aquatics team in the girls' Open division, splashed to a pair of golds in the 100-200 flys, took runner-up honors in the 400 IM-200 breast and scored a bronze in the 200 IM.
In the flys, her winning times of 55.69-2:00.88 are fastest nationally this season among non-college women and would rank her among the Top 20 in NCAA Division 1 were she competing there. In fact, her 200 fly time would rank her 13th.
Her 100 fly win was a very tight finish as Memphis Thunder's 16-year-old Margo McCauley was second in 55.71 with Weir a tenth or two behind that pair.
In the 400 IM she touched in 4:23.36, a mere .11 behind Lakeside's 16-year-old Caroline Burckle's 4:23.25. In the 200 breast she did a 2:22.95 with SwimAtlanta's Kristen Cartoski, 17, No. 1 in 2:20.86. In the 200 IM she finished in 2:07.06.
As a 13-year-old last summer, competing in the U.S. Nationals at Ft. Lauderdale, she finished 14th in the 100 fly, one place ahead of the 13-14 100 yard fly NAG record-holder, Dana Vollmer.
It may be a bit premature to begin making comparisons, but Breeden's exploits are beginning to resemble those of a certain former Louisville resident -- a triple Olympic gold medalist no less -- whose final American record in the 200 yard butterfly finally was broken a couple of weeks ago, after having lasted for more than 21 years.
She's also the only American woman other than Janet Evans to set at least two world records in the same meet in the last 20-plus years too.
Oh, her name?
MTM -- Mary T. Meagher, the original Madame Butteffly.
-- Bill Bell