MISSION VIEJO — It was just a workout meet for Janet Evans, a chance to gauge how prepared she was for the Goodwill Games next month in Seattle.
But as workouts go, this one wasn't too bad.
Evans, who was swimming for the Tarn-Pure team, set a meet record in the 800-meter freestyle Thursday in the Swim Meet of Champions at the Marguerite Recreation Center in Mission Viejo. Her time of 8 minutes 33.37 seconds was nearly three seconds faster than Tiffany Cohen's record of 8:36.64 in 1984.
"I really wasn't thinking about setting any records," Evans said. "All I wanted to do was go under 8:40. I just wanted to see how my time was in the distance freestyle."
It was fine, especially compared to the rest of the field. Evans finished more than nine seconds ahead of Jana Henke of East Germany, who finished with a time of 8:42.37.
Sherri Hanna of Woodside Aquatics was third (8:54.25), Eva Martenson of Tarn-Pure was fourth (8:54.47) and April Diez of the Phoenician Swim club was fifth (8:56.27).
But none of them could compete with Evans, who took a commanding lead in her heat after only 150 yards.
"It would have been better if there was competition," Evans said. "But the important thing was the workout. I wanted to push myself until it hurt. And it hurt."
Evans will swim at least four more events during the meet, which continues through Sunday. The only one she was certain she would compete in was the 400 individual medley, which will be today.
Evans will swim in four events at the Goodwill Games.
"Whatever Coach (Richard Quick) wants me to swim this weekend, I'll swim," Evans said.
Evans was swimming for Tarn-Pure instead of the Fullerton Aquatic Swim Team, her usual club team, because of the Goodwill Games. She has trained under Quick, her coach at Stanford, for the past nine months.
She said she didn't want to disrupt her training, especially since she will begin tapering for the Goodwill Games in the next two weeks.
"This close to the games, it was just better that I stayed with Richard," Evans said. "I'm just used to his workouts."
In the men's 800 freestyle, Artur Wojdat held off Sebastian Wiese and Carsten Kuhlmorgen of East Germany for the victory.
Wojdat, who swims for the Mission Viejo Nadadores, took the lead after 300 meters and extended it over the final 300 meters. He finished with a time of 8:07.60.
Wiese, who is ranked fifth in the world in the 800 freestyle, was second (8:10.02) and Kuhlmorgen was third (8:13.23).
"I was really happy that the East Germans could be here," said Wojdat, who swam for Poland in the 1988 Olympics. "It makes for a better meet and pushes me more. I'm just sorry that my rival, Uwe Dassler, wasn't here. I would have liked to have gone against him again."
Dassler was in North Carolina Thursday with the East German A team, which is competing in the Charlotte Invitational. Wiese and Kuhlmorgen are with the East German B team, which is competing in Mission Viejo.
At the 1988 Olympics, Dassler won the gold medal in the 400 freestyle. Wojdat was second.
"He robbed the gold," Wojdat said with a smile. "I would have liked to have faced him again this weekend. That's OK, well see each other at the Goodwill Games."