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Tappin, Hall Highlight Swim Meet

April 3, 1998

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ Ashley Tappin continued a comeback from rotator-cuff surgery with a dominant victory Thursday, and Gary Hall’s strong finish carried him to victory on the second day of the National Swimming Championships.

The championships at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center run through Sunday.

Tappin swam a personal-best 55.28 seconds in taking the women’s 100-meter freestyle, well ahead of Richelle Fox’s 56.47. Tappin’s victory came nearly two years after the 1992 Olympian had surgery on her left shoulder and seven months after she came out of retirement.

``I’m having no pain whatsoever,″ said Tappin, who’s aiming for a spot on the U.S. Olympic team in 2000. ``It’s one of those trying experiences you go through; you kind of find yourself. I’m swimming now just for the thrill of it, just to try and go for my best time.″

Tappin’s time was the sixth-fastest in American history and enabled her to beat four-time Olympic gold medalist Amy Van Dyken.

Hall, a double gold medalist in the 1996 Olympics, held off a late charge by Bart Kizierowsky to win the men’s 100-meter freestyle championship. Hall finished in 49.60 seconds to Kizierowsky’s 50.11.

``I saw him coming, I was just trying to hold on,″ said Hall, who called his victory redemption for last July’s world championship qualification meet.

``I had a really poor qualification meet,″ Hall said. ``That’s a long time to wait, a long time to think about it.″

The winners in the 200-meter breaststroke were Patrick Fowler in 2:16.16 and Katie Yevak at 2:31.12. It was the first national titles for Fowler, 17, and Yevak, 15.

Gordon Kozulj won the men’s 200-meter backstroke in 2:00.50 and Natalie Coughlin won the women’s race in 2:14.16.

Lauren Stinnett won her second women’s 200-meter butterfly national title with a career-best time of 2:12.99. On the men’s side, the winner was Steven Brown in 1:58.92.

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