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U.s. Olympic Festival : Los Angeles--1991 : Memorable Moments

July 10, 1991|THERESA MUNOZ



A sticky sensation comes to mind when swimmer Mike Barrowman relives the 1985 U.S. Olympic Festival in Baton Rouge, La.

"It was extremely hot and very, very humid," Barrowman recalled.

The performance of the slight 16-year-old from Potomac, Md., was similarly uncomfortable. It did not foreshadow a berth on the 1988 Olympic team or the world record-setting 200-meter breaststroke swims Barrowman produced in 1989, '90 and '91.

Not only did Barrowman finish seventh among eight competitors in the 200 breaststroke, he would have been last if not for a disqualification.

At the time, Barrowman was better in the individual medley--combining all four competitive strokes (butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke and freestyle)--than in the breaststroke.

His experience in the Festival planted a seed, however.

"I remember one thing very clearly," Barrowman said. "We were taken into a room right before the meet, and we were told that one-fourth of us would be on the 1988 Olympic team. We were told that (1984 Olympian) John Moffett sat in the same room four years earlier and was told the same thing. That struck me."

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