Randall Bal Takes Top Honors In 100m Back And 50m Free At Nationals
Aug. 9, 2004
Stanford, Calif. - Former Cardinal All-American Randall Bal won two events over the final tow days of the 2004 ConocoPhillips Summer National Championships, held at the Avery Aquatic Center on the campus of Stanford University.In a race that came as a surprise to very few people, Bal of Stanford Swimming took the men's 100m back with a time of 54.67, about two and a half seconds ahead of the next-closest swimmer.Bal, a member of the 2001 and 2003 U.S. World Championship teams, is one of the top five Americans of all time in that event and finished fourth place in the 100m back at last month's Olympic Trials.Afterward, he took some time off to decide whether he really wanted to swim at Nationals or not.'The main reason I decided to swim was what better meet to go to than one where the pool's in your back yard and where you've trained all year long,' Bal said. 'I kind of wanted a different meet where expectations weren't as high, and I was a little more relaxed.'Coming in, my confidence was not all that high. I felt pretty bad (after taking that time off), and to be honest, that time kind of surprised me.'Bal won the 50m free with a lifetime best 22.75 and earned the ConocoPhillips Performance of the Meet Award for his win in the 100m back Friday night.'I just hoped to have a good start and really push that last 10 meters,' Bal said of his swim in the 50m free. 'I have a definite advantage over most of the competitors because I know this pool and train here every day. It's definitely a fast pool.'