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The Future Looks Bright for MacManus

August 12, 2000|DIANE PUCIN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

INDIANAPOLIS — Her Irvine Novaquatics teammates could tell that Diana MacManus, a 14-year-old who will start her freshman year at Irvine High in September, was nervous.

The wide-eyed youngster with long arms and legs and a frequent giggle, was going to swim in the finals of the women's 100-meter backstroke Friday night and on Thursday night she couldn't sleep. So shaving cream it was, lots of it being sprayed around the hallways.

Must have worked too.

MacManus, who was so unknown that she didn't make the Olympic trials media guide, was in second place at the 50-meter mark and in second place at the 90-meter mark.

At the 100-meter mark MacManus was fourth and she was thrilled.

While 27-year-old B.J. Bedford made her first Olympic team by winning in a time of 1 minute 1.85 seconds and 22-year-old Courtney Shealy earned the second Olympic spot in a time of 1:02.85, MacManus swam a career-best of 1:02.33 and seems to have a great future.

"She's got all the talent in the world," Novaquatics Coach Dave Salo said. "She just has to figure out how to do the work."

MacManus is eager to do that. "I can hardly wait to get back to the pool and get to work," MacManus said.

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Chad Carvin, who had finished second in the 400-meter freestyle on Wednesday night to make his first Olympic team, finished third Friday night in the 200-meter freestyle. Carvin, 26 and from Laguna Hills, earned a spot on the 800-meter relay team. "I'm happy about that," Carvin said, "though I'd rather be standing on the top of the platform and being first."

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Erin Sieper, a 16-year-old from Yorba Linda who competes for Swim Placentia, finished sixth in the 100-meter breaststroke. The Esperanza High junior-to-be, said she couldn't believe she had made the final and was honored to be in the race with swimmers like Megan Quann, Kristy Kowal, Staciana Stitts and Amanda Beard. "I can't even believe I'm standing here," Sieper said. "Just to swim against Megan Quann, wow."

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San Clemente's Kristen Caverly, who swims for the Irvine Aquazots, finished 13th in the 200-meter individual medley. Caverly, 15, is looking forward to her best race, the 200 breaststroke.

Gabrielle Rose, 22, a Novaquatics swimmer who represented Brazil in the 1996 Olympics, finished seventh in a time of 2:16.70 and moved into the finals.

Aaron Peirsol, the 17-year-old Irvine backstroker, finished fourth in the 100-meter race and was pleased. His best race, the one where he beat world record-holder Lenny Krayzelburg last month, is the 200-meter backstroke. "It's great to get the experience of being in the finals," Peirsol said. "I'm having a great time and the best is still to come."

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