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Malchow Edges Phelps in 200 Fly Duel at US Open -- December 2, 2001

By Mary Wagner
(courtesy USA Swimming)

EAST MEADOW, N.Y., Dec. 1. AS the final night of the 2001 U.S. Open unfolded, multiple event winners emerged and meet records became a thing of the past.

And setting one of those records was Tom Malchow, who won what was perhaps the marquee matchup of the meet by defeating world record holder Michael Phelps in the 200m fly. Malchow's time of 1:53.48 bettered the old U.S. Open and meet records (1:54.76) set by Melvin Stewart. It was Malchow's second win of the meet after taking the 100m fly Friday night.

"I just wanted to get up and race," said Malchow, who won the U.S. Open Performance of the Meet Award. "This is the point of the season where I've been training a lot, and there haven't been a lot of meets, so I just wanted to see where I was at. I just wanted to swim aggressive from the get-go.

"I was worried about Michael. We've flip-flopped back and forth, but Michael's gotten the big ones. There are intervals where I'm happy with my wins, but he's gotten the bigger ones. He's been doing that, so I won't get too confident about this swim."

Phelps' time of 1:54.21 was also below the former meet and U.S. Open record held by Stewart.

"I've definitely been looking forward to that race the whole meet, but I guess that's all I had in me," said Phelps, whose wins in the 200 and 400m IM helped earn him the meet's male High Point Award. "I dropped five seconds from this morning, but I guess that wasn't enough today."

Meet records fell in five of the eight individual events Saturday. Breaking those records were Janelle Atkinson of Jamaica in the 800m free (8:20.13), Tanaka Masami of Japan in the 200m breast (2:23.62), Mary DeScenza in the 200m fly (2:07.94), and Chris Thompson in the 1500m free (14:55.12).

DeScenza's win was the second of the meet, her third since winning the 200m fly at the FINA World Cup earlier this week.

"Actually, that was my goal," DeScenza said of breaking the meet record. "I wanted to go 2:07 tonight, and it was great achieving those goals.

"I kind of half-expected to do this well, but not to this degree. I wanted to win one event going into this, but it's great to win three. It was really
a worthwhile experience."

Thompson said he was on autopilot in his win in the 1500. "I felt really good at the World Cup, so I just wanted to go out and see what I had," Thompson said. "I wasn't too concerned about my race; I just
wanted to go out and have a good time and push myself."

Although Ed Moses missed the meet record by a tenth of a second, he made a clean sweep of the breaststroke events by winning the 200 Saturday. Moses won decisively, beating the second place finisher by about three and a half seconds.

"I knew I was going to be alone the whole time, so I just wanted to be consistent with the time I got at the world cup," Moses said. "I was just a couple tenths off. I wanted to take (meet record holder Tom) Wilkens off the board, but I'll have to wait another year for that.

"It's been a great week. It's gotten a little old being here with the same routine for the last six days - workout, race breast, workout race breast.
But I'm really happy with the results. Now I've got to move on, and I've got about eight weeks to break those world records."

In other highlights, Christina Swindle won her second event of the meet, defending her U.S. Open title in the 100m free by out-touching second-place finisher Amanda Weir.

"It's very nice," she said. "A very good feeling. I knew (Weir) was going to give me a good race. She likes to go out fast like I do, so I just tried to
catch up with her at the end, which I did.

"Being a two-time U.S. Open champ means a lot. It was one of my goals coming into the meet."

Finally, SMU's Alenka Kejzar won the female High Point Award.

RESULTS

U.S. Open Swimming Championships
Day Three: Dec. 1, 2001
East Meadow, N.Y.

(25 meter course)

WOMEN'S 800M FREESTYLE
1, Janelle Atkinson, Jacksonville, Fla., 8:20.13; 2, Flavia Rigamonti, Dallas, Texas, 8:26.19; 3, Meredith Green, Chapel Hill, N.C., 8:32.79.

WOMEN'S 100M FREESTYLE
1, Christina Swindle, Miami, Fla., 54.70; 2, Amanda Weir, Atlanta, Ga., 54.88; 3, Manon Van Rooyen, Miami, Fla., 55.68.

MEN'S 100M FREESTYLE
1, Romain Barnier, Auburn, Ala., 48.70; 2, Donald Gold, Bloomington, Ind., 49.51; 3, George Bovell, Jacksonville, Fla., 49.72

WOMEN'S 200M BREASTSTROKE
1, Masami Tanaka, Irvine, Calif., 2:23.62 (meet record); 2, Brooke Hanson, Victoria, Australia, 2:25.71; 3, Megan Quann, Puyallup, Wash., 2:25.81

MEN'S 200M BREASTSTROKE
1, Ed Moses, Burke, Va., 2:10.86; 2, Kevin Dupuis, Ohio, 2:14.16; 3, David Schulze, Bloomington, Ind., 2:14.58

WOMEN'S 200M BUTTERFLY
1, Mary DeScenza, Naperville, Ill, 2:07.94 (meet record); 2, Georgina Lee, Dallas, Texas (2:09.00); 3, Rebecca Harper, Richmond, Va., 2:11.72

MEN'S 200M BUTTERFLY
1, Tom Malchow, St. Paul, Minn., 1:53.48 (U.S. Open and meet record); 2, Michael Phelps, Baltimore, Md., 1:54.21; 3, Ales Abersek, Slovenia, 1:59.42

MEN'S 1500M FREESTYLE
1, Chris Thompson, Roseburg, Ore., 14:55.12 (meet record); 2, Robert Margalis, St. Petersburg, Fla., 15:07.03; 3, Ricardo Monasterio, Gainesville, Fla., 15:18.57