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PREP SWIMMING: National Marks Fall to Finlay -- April 18, 1998

by Keith Peters

It's rare when a high school athlete, in any sport, can actually plan to go after a record. Usually, those kind of performances are confined to championship events. Menlo School senior Andi Finlay, however, had other ideas when she entered the Knights' 25-meter pool during a Girls Private School League dual meet against Sacred Heart Prep.

After former teammate Stephanie Armstrong shattered a national prep record in the 500-meter free last year, Finlay taped a copy of the girls' 100-meter backstroke mark (for short-course metric pools) to her mirror.

"She thought she could break it," said Menlo swim coach Terence O'Malley. "This was a good time to do it."

Still tapered and shaved from the Phillips 66 National Championships at the University of Minnesota, where she finished ninth in the 100-meter backstroke and swam on three relay teams, Finlay was in great shape for an assault on the record book.

"At the Menlo Relays, the (Menlo) girls were about a tenth off breaking the 200 free relay mark," O'Malley explained. "So, going into the meet, going for the records was a big part of it."

Without having to worry about the outcome of the meet--Menlo posted a 100-57 win--the Knights first went after the 200 free relay mark. The team of Sarah Umetsu, Rachel Saal, Erin Welsh and Finlay won in 1:53.49, breaking the former national prep mark of 1:53.86 set in 1993 by another Menlo squad of Armstrong, Lindsay Welsh, Christy Holmberg and Margie Hollister.

The next event was the 100 back, and Finlay was up to the challenge aga in. She stroked home in 1:03.28, breaking the Girls Metric Record of 1:04.39 set in 1988 by DeDe Trimble of Wallingsford, Conn. Trimble went on to Stanford and still ranks No. 3 all-time on the school's 200-yard backstroke list.

From Palo Alto Weekly