LOS ANGELES -- Olympian David Wharton became the first swimmer at the United States Long Course National Championships to set an American record, breaking his own mark Wednesday in the 400-meter individual medley.
Wharton, a silver medalist at the 1988 Olympics, clocked a 4:15.93 at the University of Southern California's Olympic Stadium, breaking his own mark of 4:16.12, established in August 1987.
Wharton's time also established a U.S. Open record, a meet record and a pool record. Tamas Darnyi holds the world mark of 4:14.75, set in September 1988.
Triple Olympic gold medal winner Janet Evans of Placentia, Calif., won her second national championship, swimming to victory in the 400 freestyle. Evans captured the 400 individual medley Tuesday.
Evans clocked in at 4:06.73, a pool record. The world record holder in the 400, 800 and 1,500, Evans has the world record in the 400 freestyle, as well as the American, U.S. Open and meet records in the event.
Other winners Wednesday included Nicole Haislett of St. Petersburg, Fla. in the 100 freestyle; Olympian Brent Lang of Portland, Ore., in the 100 freestyle; Olympian Betsy Mitchell of Marietta, Ohio in the 100 backstroke; and Olympian Dan Veatch of Boca Raton, Fla. in the 200 backstroke.
Second place finishers were Scott Johnson of Tucson, Ariz., in the 200 backstroke; Lea Loveless of Crestwood, N.Y., in the 100 backstroke; Doug Gjertsen of Houston in the 100 free; Jenny Thompson of Dover, N.H., in the 100 freestyle; Andrea Hayes of Pensacola, Fla., in the 400 freestyle; and Eric Namesnik of Pittsburgh in the 400 individual medley.
The top two finishers earned a spot on the U.S. team that will compete in the Pan Pacific Championships in Tokyo later this month.
Wharton, 20, from Warminster, Pa., entered the championships intent on beating his record.
'I came out fast and came on strong,' said Wharton, a two-time NCAA swimmer of the year and a silver medalist in the 400 at the '88 Olympics. 'It was one of the fastest finishes I've ever had.
'I was nervous because I wanted to make the U.S. team, and that was my top priority. Getting the record is an added bonus. But it's something I always want to do and something I hoped to do.'
Wharton said swimming next to Namesnik pushed him to victory.
'It was really exciting and challenging,' Wharton said. 'I take well to challenges.'
So does Evans, but lately she's had to race against the clock, not the competition.
'I would have liked to have more competition,' she said after finishing nearly six seconds ahead of Hayes. 'It felt like I was swimming eight laps, back and forth, just by myself, with no one in the pool.'