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Latest Crippen Takes Down NAG Record in 200 Backstroke -- March 14, 2005

EAST MEADOW, N.Y., March 14. FROM a family that oozes eye-popping talent in the pool, it's not always easy to be the baby of the bunch. To say the least, expectations tend to run high.

But, Teresa Crippen is doing just fine in making a major name for herself. On Sunday, the littlest Crippen set a National Age Group record in the 13-and-14 category in the 200 backstroke while competing at the Eastern Sectionals of the Speedo Championship Series. In the process, she erased the standard of an Olympic champion.

Representing Germantown Academy Aquatic Club, coached by Dick Shouldberg, Crippen blazed a time of 1:56.89 for the 200 back. That swim dipped below the 1996 record of Beth Botsford (1:57.36). Botsford won Olympic gold during the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.

Of course, Crippen's siblings include Maddy and Fran, both national champions. Maddy Crippen represented the United States at the Sydney Olympics in the 400 individual medley while Fran Crippen, now at the University of Virginia, is among America's top distance freestylers. Meanwhile, Claire Crippen is a sophomore at Germantown Academy and an elite performer in her own right.

Teresa Crippen has had a fabulous few weeks, as she recently won the 200 freestyle and 100 backstroke at the prestigious Eastern Interscholastic Championships. Over the weekend, she also tied for first in the 100 backstroke, as she and Julia Smit clocked 55.50 in the meet held in Long Island.

Crippen was also a member of four Germantown Academy Aquatic Club relays that posted victories - 200 and 400 medley, 400 free relay and 800 free relay. Alicia Aemisegger and Sara Coenen were on all four relays and Claire Crippen and Katie Magee contributed to two winning relays each.

Two of America's rising stars in the individual medley disciplines, Smit and Aemisegger had two high-level duels. Smit, of Three Villages Swim Club, won the 400 I.M. in 4:10.50 while Aemisegger was second in 4:14.42. Aemisegger went 4:12.46 in the prelims.

In the 200 I.M., Smit cracked the 200 I.M. barrier with a time of 1:59.31, with Aemisegger placing second in 2:01.35. Two weeks ago, Aemisegger went below two minutes en route to the crown at Easterns. She also placed second in the 200 breast in East Meadow.

Scarlet Aquatic Club's Rebecca Soni also had a strong competition, as she won the 100 and 200 breaststrokes. Soni went 1:02.12 in the 100 distance and 2:11.32 for the win in the 200 breast.

On the guys' side, Bobby Savulich had a huge weekend for the Scarlet Aquatic Club of New Jersey. Savulich won five events, prevailing in the 100 free (44.99), 200 free (1:37.77), 500 free (4:28.06), 200 I.M. (1:49.78) and 400 I.M. (4:01.40).