On the men's side, 18-year-old Jesse Vassallo was one of the stars, winning the 200 and 400 individual medleys. But Vassallo's high school and Mission Viejo teammate, Steve Barnicoat, upset him in the 200-meter backstroke. Rick De-Mont, who had been stripped of a gold medal at the 1972 Olympics (SI, Aug. 20) said he was encouraged by his times in the 800-and 400-meter freestyle relays. However, he failed to qualify for the 100-meter freestyle finals.
Two Montreal veterans, Gregg in the butterfly and Brian Goodell in the freestyle, look like possible gold medalists at Moscow, too. Goodell, 20, of UCLA and Mission Viejo, won the 400 free in a meet record 3:51.89, his best time in two years, and finished second to Rowdy Gaines in the 200.
U.S. Olympic Coach George Haines, like everybody else at poolside in Fort Lauderdale, was wowed by Mary T.—the Mary T. who emerged dripping and grinning after her world-record daily double, and the prospective Mary T.
"I think she is in a class by herself in the 200 fly," he said. "And she's probably just scratching the surface."
"I don't think much is going to happen between now and next year," said Olympic hero Mark Spitz, on hand to do TV commentary, "but I shudder to think what she could be doing if she continues to swim for, say, an additional four years with the same kind of training techniques."
It's the female butterflyers of the world who should be shuddering.