June 19, 2007
By David Driver
Kate Ziegler just keeps on winning races and setting records.
Ziegler, who enrolled as a freshman at Mason last fall, broke swimming’s oldest world record on Sunday in Mission Viejo, Calif. She won the 1,500-meter freestyle at the TYR Meet of Champions with a time of 15:42.54. That shattered the mark of 15:52.10 set in 1988 by former American Olympian Janet Evans of California.
Ziegler was the top women’s finisher in the 800-meter and 1,500-meter freestyle at the 12th FINA World Championships, which ended April 1 in Melbourne, Australia.
Her win on Sunday was her fourth victory of the meet. Ziegler already posted wins in the 200, 400 and 800 freestyles.
"It was pretty spectacular," Mark Schubert, national team coach and general manager of USA Swimming, told the Associated Press (AP) of Ziegler’s record showing. "Kate was delighted when she looked at the scoreboard. She practically jumped out of the pool."
Ziegler grew up as a big fan of Evans, who was also coached by Schubert. "I’m sure she’ll be happy for Kate, but she’ll probably be a little disappointed," Schubert commented to the AP about Evans.
Ziegler, from Great Falls, Va., is a graduate of Bishop O’Connell High School in Arlington, Va. Because she turned professional in the spring of 2006, she is not able to compete for Mason.
She practices at Mason and with her club team, FISH, in McLean, Va., under the direction of coach Ray Benecki.
Ziegler set American records in the 1,650-meter and 1,000-meter freestyle in December at the Tom Dolan Invitational at Mason. She is currently training for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China.