ANN ARBOR, Michigan, May 21. THE final night of the Eric Namesnik Memorial Grand Prix belonged to the tandem of Peter Vanderkaay (Club Wolverine) and Katie Hoff (North Baltimore Aquatic Club. The United States Olympians combined for a quartet of victories at Canham Natatorium, on the campus of the University of Michigan. The three-day event served as a tuneup for the summer season.
Vanderkaay went long and short for his triumphs, as he bested the competition in the 1,500 freestyle and 100 free. In the metric mile, Vanderkaay checked in with a swim of 15:14.35, plenty quicker than the 15:28.19 of Erik Vendt. Michael Phelps was fifth in 15:42.48. Vanderkaay also emerged on top in the 100 free as he managed a time of 50.94, nearly a second clear of Todd Patrick (51.82).
Phelps, coming off altitude training with his Club Wolverine teammates, earned a win in the event that first established the standout. Racing the 200 butterfly, Phelps went 2:00.56 to edge out Davis Tarwater (2:02.40). Phelps, Tarwater, Vanderkaay and Klete Keller won the 800 free relay in 7:39.88.
Hoff collected her first win of the night in the 200 backstroke, a discipline she negotiated in 2:13.53. Hoff had a comfortable lead at the midway point of the race and rolled to an easy decision of Megan Romano (2:17.25). Hoff also added the 200 breast to her victory stash, thanks to an effort of 2:31.67, and anchored NBAC to third in the 800 free relay with a stellar 200 free split of 1:58.49. Hoff had earlier won the 200 and 400 individual medley events.
Two individuals who will have an influence on the United States’ relay efforts in international competition tied for top honors in the women’s 100 freestyle. Natalie Coughlin and Kara Lynn Joyce each went 56.10, just ahead of the 56.37 of Emily Silver. Kim Vandenberg was the top finisher in the 200 butterfly, where she clocked 2:13.68. Mary DeScenza followed in 2:14.49.
In the women’s 800 freestyle, Hayley Peirsol secured a convincing win over Brittany Reimer, the Canadian medalist from last year’s World Championships in Montreal. Peirsol covered the 16-lap race in 8:43.44 while Reimer registered a mark of 8:47.13. In the men’s 200 back, Keith Beavers was swiftest to the wall with an effort of 2:04.22.