Ed Moses was shocked when he saw what he had done in his preliminary heat of the 100-meter breaststroke this morning at the Pan American Games. Moses, a 1998 graduate of Lake Braddock High School in Burke, broke the Pan Am record. Then the realization set in: How was he going to top that performance in the final?
By breaking the record again, naturally.
Moses won the gold medal in 1 minute 0.99 seconds, making him the fifth-fastest man ever and the second-fastest U.S. man behind Jeremy Linn (1:00.77). The previous Pan American record of 1:02.28 was set in 1983 by the U.S.'s Steve Lundquist in Caracas, Venezuela.
Moses's preliminary time of 1:01.06 is the sixth-fastest (the world record is 1:00.65, set by Belgium's Fred deBurghgraeve) and the third-fastest U.S. time.
"My morning swim set the standard for the day," said Moses, who was the Atlantic Coast Conference's men's swimming rookie of the year at Virginia last winter. "I was only three-tenths of a second away from the world record, and everyone was telling me I had to break it tonight. You want to put pressure on yourself, but not enough so you don't do well."
This is the first international meet for Moses, who only began to devote himself to swimming three years ago. At Lake Braddock, he played soccer and golf, in addition to swimming, but decided to focus on swimming so he could pursue it in college.
"I'm definitely surprised at how far I've come," Moses said. "Some of it is talent, but the rest is hard work. My focus is completely on swimming. Once you put the mental and physical parts together, it all comes together."
Moses will race again as part of the U.S. 400 medley relay on Saturday.
Local Riders Get Medals
When the final day of the equestrian three-day event competition began today, David O'Connor was in first place and Abigail Lufkin was in third. By the time O'Connor and Lufkin took their horses into the ring for the show-jumping competition, each needed a nearly perfect ride to stay in the same position.
O'Connor, of The Plains, needed a clean ride to win the gold medal, but his horse, Giltedge, knocked over one rail. O'Connor finished second, with 76 penalties, behind Bermuda's M.J. Tumbridge, who had 74 penalties on Bermuda's Gold.
"Any time you go in, even on a good horse, that one rail can happen," O'Connor said. "When two rails go down, then you think you're doing something wrong. But it's hard to be disappointed with a gold [for team competition] and a silver medal around your neck."
Lufkin, of Middleburg, had a one-rail cushion -- if her horse, Jacob Two Two, knocked over two rails, she would drop into fourth place. But Jacob Two Two dropped only one rail, allowing Lufkin to hold on to the bronze medal.
"I'm lucky I had that rail in hand," Lufkin said. "It's always nice to have a cushion like that."
The team competition was not nearly as close. The U.S. team, which had not won a gold in the event since 1987, defeated silver medalist Brazil by 359 points.
Soccer Team Advances
The U.S. under-18 women's soccer team advanced to Thursday's gold medal game with a 2-0 victory over Costa Rica. The United States will face Mexico, which beat Canada on penalty kicks, in Thursday's final.
This is the first year that women's soccer has been included in the Pan Am Games. The United States has done well in inaugural women's soccer championships: It won the first Women's World Cup in 1991 and the first Olympic gold medal in 1996.
Marcia Wallis and Kim Patrick, who have combined for 13 goals in the tournament, each scored today. The United States outshot Costa Rica by a 34-1 margin and hit the crossbar or post five times. . . .
The U.S. women's 2-0 victory over Chile in field hockey secured a spot in the gold medal game, with the winner going to the 2000 Olympics.