By Phillip whitten
CHARLOTTE, NC, June 5. OLYMPIANS Brooke Bennett and Ricardo Monasterio stroked to victory in the distance events on the first day of competition at the 2003 Charlotte Ultraswim, hosted by Mecklenburg Aquatic Club.
Triple Olympic gold-medalist Bennett demonstrated she is rounding back into top competitive shape after shoulder surgery by posting a three-second victory in the women 800 meter freestyle. Leading all the way, Bennett, Broward Aquatics, clocked a solid 8:49.58.
Fast-rising Elizabeth Hill, Dynamo, was second in 8:52.35, just ahead of another up-and-comer, Stephanie Carr, Bolles Sharks, at 8:53.12.
Monasterio, a Venezuelan Olympian swimming for the Gators, clocked a solid 15:29.45 to take the men's 1500. US Olympian Klete Keller, better known as a middle-distance guy, was the surprise silver medalist, touching in 15:37.22. Less than a second in arrears was Keller's Club Wolverine teammate, Peter Vanderkaay, at 15:38.02.