1998 Phillips 66 National Championships: Day 2 -- August 13, 1998
CLOVIS, CA - Jenny Thompson, the former world-record holder in the women's 100m freestyle, continued her dominance in this event. She won her specialty in a time of 55.53. Ashley Tappin, on the comeback trail from chronic shoulder problems the last two years, finished 2nd in a time of 56.08.
The men's 100m freestyle was a wide-open event, especially with the absence of Gary Hall Jr., who is currently suspended from swimming due to his positive test for marijuana. Jason Lezak, the former UC Santa Barbara standout, surprised the field by winning this event in a fast 49.93. He was the only one in the finals, which included three 1996 Olympians, to break 50 seconds.
Athens Bulldogs' Kristy Kowal, the defending World Champion in the 100m breast, continued her rise to stardom by winning the women's 200m breastroke with a time of 2:26.27.
In what can considered his breakout year, Tom Wilkens won the men's 200m breastroke with a lifetime-best 2:12.39. He outtouched his Stanford teammate, Kurt Grote by 27 one-hundredths. SWIMINFO's web designer, Steve West, got in for third place with his 2:15.30.
Natalie Coughlin of the Terrapins, who missed breaking the world-record in the women's 50m backstroke at last week's Far Western Championships, won the women's 200m back with a quick time of 2:12.03.
Lenny Krayzelburg, the 1998 World Champion in both backstroke events, won the men's 200m backstroke, breaking his own American record in the process. His 1:57.38 bettered his previous American record by almost half-a-second. His Trojan Swim Club teammate, Brad Bridgewater finished second.
The biggest upset in the meet so far was turned in by Curl-Burke's Molly Freedman. She outtouched Misty Hyman in the women's 200m butterfly by 3 one-hundredths, 2:12.02 to 2:12.05. Freedman's win is especially amazing because just 2 weeks ago, at the Goodwill Games, she sliced her foot open on dangerously sharp edges at the Nassau County Pool (Goodwill Games swimming venue).
In the men's 200m butterfly, Tom Malchow of Club Wolverine won in a lifetime-best time of 1:56.75. The 1996 Olympic silver medalist in this event beat out a tough field that included Ugur Taner of Hillenbrand and Steve Brown of Reno.