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Ziegler Qualifies for World Championships

By Eli Saslow and Tarik El-Bashir
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, April 6, 2005; Page D07

At the U.S. swimming trials in Indianapolis last night, O'Connell's Kate Ziegler stayed true to the pattern that has worked for her for the past three years: Set a lofty goal, then instead of merely achieving it, exceed it.

Ziegler, who had hoped to finish in the top two in the 800-meter freestyle in Indianapolis, instead placed first in 8 minutes 34.83 seconds -- nearly three seconds faster than second-place finisher Laura Conway, who swims for the University of Georgia. The victory qualified Ziegler for the world championships, held July 17-31 in Montreal.

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"I'm so stoked," said Ziegler, a 16-year-old junior. "My race felt good from the beginning. This has been my big goal, to make world championships. "

Her first-place finish in Indianapolis is the most noteworthy accomplishment in a year stuffed with them. Ziegler broke the American 800-meter freestyle short-course record (8:16.32) on Feb. 11. Less than three weeks later, she set a new national independent high school record in the 500-yard freestyle (4:37.67).

Qualifying for the world championships, though, excited Ziegler most. Only the top two swimmers at the trials are invited to Montreal -- a qualifying structure similar to that of the Olympics. Ziegler nearly qualified in the 400-meter freestyle, too. She finished third in 4:12.09, less than a half-second out of second place.

Classic Names Names

The Capital Classic high school all-star basketball game announced the Capital All-Stars roster yesterday. (Complete rosters on D7)

The list is highlighted by five All-Mets, including Dante Cunningham (Potomac, Md.), Uche Echefu (Montrose Christian), Bishop O'Connell's Marcus Ginyard and Dave Neal and DeMatha's Mamadi Diane. Also on the team are Desmond Adedeji (DeMatha), Robert Diggs (Gwynn Park), Matt Hewson (Hylton), Arinze Onuaku (Episcopal), Chris Fleming (Osbourn Park), Paul Johnson (Gonzaga) and K.J. Matsui (Montrose Christian).

The 32nd annual event is scheduled for George Mason's Patriot Center on April 22. The U.S. team was announced last week; the rosters for the District vs. Suburban teams will be announced tomorrow. . . .

St. John's has hired Tom Veith to be its new athletic director, Principal Jeff Mancabelli said yesterday. Veith replaces Vince Fisher, who is retiring after 35 years at St. John's, the last three as athletic director.

Veith comes to St. John's from Wakefield School (The Plains), where he had served as athletic director since 1999.

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