PALMA DE MALLORCA, Spain – The U.S. Swim Team finished just as strong as they started winning five medals, including three golds, on the final day of swimming competition at the World University Games. The team totaled 33 medals (17 gold) for the week. The U.S. has now won the most medals in 13 WUG swimming competitions and the most gold medals 12 out of 14 times.
Courtney Allen (Monument, Colo.) started off the night by winning the 400th gold medal in U.S. WUG swimming history, touching first in the 50m freestyle with a 25.49, making her the 18th-fastest woman ever and the fourth-fastest American. The U.S. men followed that up with a one-two finish in the 50 free as Aaron Ciarla (Charlotte, N.C.) grabbed gold in 22.73 and Dean Hutchinson (Delran, N.J.) earned silver with a time of 22.91. Ciarla’s time makes him the 25th-fastest American ever in this event.
Mark Leonard (Clinton Township, Mich.) captured a silver medal in the 1500m free (15:28.06), while Mark Warkentin (Santa Barbara, Calif.), who won four golds this week, was fourth in 15:29.54. Both swimmers posted their personal-best times. The event was won by Italian Andrea Righi in 15:25.83.
The U.S. ended on a high note as Matt Ulrickson (Scottsdale, Ariz.), Jeremy McDonnell (Houston, Texas), Matthew Pierce (The Woodlands, Texas) and Greg Busse (Naperville, Ill.) won gold in the 400m medley relay in 3:42.75, the meet’s final event. Japan held over a two-second lead going into the butterfly leg. Pierce narrowed the gap to 46-hundredths of a second with his 52.88 split. Busse brought it home in 49.80 to pass Japan and hold off a charging Russia.
Also in finals action, Linda Riker (Ann Arbor, Mich.) was fourth (1:03.58) and Sarabeth Schweitzer (Maryville, Calif.) was sixth (1:04.13) in the 100m back, which was won by 1992 Olympian Norico Inada of Japan in 1:01.06, a meet record. The time also makes Inada, who will compete in the 1999 Pan Pacific Championships in August, the 11th-fastest woman ever in this event. Ashley Mosher finished seventh in the 50m free (26.53).