YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Quance: Off Day, Night Off : Swimming: Northridge swimmer fails to qualify for breaststroke final.


AUSTIN, Tex. — Kristine Quance's national championship nightmare went from bad to worse Thursday morning at the Texas Swim Center. Quance, the defending national 100-meter breaststroke champion, was not fast enough to make Thursday night's championship finals.

Her pedestrian clocking of 1 minute 12.38 seconds was 2.78 seconds slower than her winning time one year ago.

"It felt as bad as it looked," said the 18-year-old from Northridge.

Quance scratched from the consolation finals of the 100 breaststroke in an attempt to save her strength for a comeback in today's 200 individual medley.

"I don't want it to look like I'm giving up because I'm not," she said. "I'm not that kind of person. I never have been the type to let one race ruin an entire meet."

At last summer's nationals, Quance became only the fifth swimmer to win four titles. Moreover, all of her times were comparable to those posted two weeks earlier in the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona.

But since she arrived in Austin last weekend, Quance has struggled. She was upset in the 400 individual medley by 15-year-old Allison Wagner and pounded in the 200 breaststroke by world record-holder Anita Nall.

Her runner-up finishes in both races, however, earned her a berth on the U.S. team that will compete next month in the Pan Pacific Championships in Kobe, Japan.

"At this point I'm glad I'm going to Japan and I'm not going to mope any more about it," Quance said.

Swimming Notes

Valery Calkins of Conejo-Simi Aquatics finished sixth in the 400 freestyle in 4:18.27, just off her preliminary time, a career-best 4:18.05. Sarah Nichols, Calkins' teammate, placed 11th in 4:19.47, a tick behind her winning time in the U.S. Olympic Festival last Saturday.

Alexis Larsen of Calabasas-based CLASS Aquatics missed the championship final of the 400 freestyle by one place and scratched from the consolation final in order to rest for her best event, today's 1,500 freestyle.

Jason Stelle of Agoura placed eighth in the 100 backstroke in 56.84, 2.63 seconds behind first-place finisher Jeff Rouse. "I've never been so psyched up for a race in my life and then I slipped off the start," Stelle said. "I knew it would be tough after that, but I still kept my head in it." In the preliminaries, Stelle recorded a career-best 56.03.

Los Angeles Times Articles