Sanders finished in 4:39.22, with Evans about four feet behind her. "I was in shock when I touched," said Sanders. Not only did that time hack almost nine seconds off her previous best, but it was also the eighth-fastest time ever in the event.
Evans, though close to tears, accepted defeat graciously. "I'm not disappointed," she said. "That's why I compete. The sun will shine tomorrow, right?"
Surely it is shining on Quick, who will coach Evans and Summers at Stanford in the fall. He said, "When you are a great champion like Janet and you do lose, you find a way for it to make you better."
It didn't take long, in fact, for Evans to shed the ignominy of her rare defeat. On Sunday, she blew away the field in the 400 free, an event in which she holds the four fastest times ever. In Seattle she clocked 4:05.84, nearly five seconds faster than her nearest competitor. Evans said the loss to Sanders provided no "extra incentive. I just wanted to come back and fight and see what I could do."
Few understand such recuperative spirit better than Barrowman, who still feeds greedily on his bitter Olympic memories. "When Seoul stops bothering me, I'm in trouble," he said. "I hope it stays there, burning inside of me."