SHEFFIELD, England. July 30. JAMES Hickman won his second event and earned his third spot on the British Olympic Team today, as he won the men's 100 meter butterfly on the final day of competition at the British Olympic Trials in Sheffield.
Hickman, the national record-holder, won his event easily in 52.87, more than a second in front of Robert Greenwood, at 53.97. Aaron Wiles took the race out hard, turning in 24.92, with Robert Bennett (25.10), Hickman (25.12) and Greenwood (25.24) in hot pursuit.
But Hickman's back half was much too strong for the rest of the field. Shortly after the turn he assumed command of the race and powered into the wall. Robert Parry, who won the 200 fly, was sixth in 54.84.
The women's 100 free was heralded as a battle between Karen Pickering and Alison Sheppard, who earlier in the Trials set a Commonwealth record in the 50 free (25.12). True to form, Sheppard took the race out hard, turning in 26.34, well ahead of Pickering, seconbd at 26.80. But the early pace was a bit too fast, and Sheppard faded badly. Pickering quickly stroked by her to win in 55.58, with Karen Legg, winner of the 200, second in 55.99. Sheppard, who had swum 55.73 in the semis, was fifth in 56.55.
Adam Ruckwood and Simon Militis were picked to go one-two in the men's 200 meter backstroke, and that's just what happened. A game Gregor Tate took the early lead, splitting 28.32 at the 50. But at the 100 it was Militis in 59.22, just ahead of Ruckwood at 59.29 and Tate, 59.46. Militis extended his lead to 0.26 seconds at the 150 as Tate hung gamely on. On the final lap, Ruckwood overtook his rival, touching first in 2:00.51, ahead of Militis at 2:00.75. Tate recorded a lifetime best of 2:02.43 in finishing third.
The women's 200 meter breaststroke was another head-to-head battle, this time featuring Heidi Earp, who earlier in the meet set a national record in the 100 breast (1:09.92) and Jaime King. In the semis, Earp had qualified just a tenth of a second ahead of King,but in the final it was King who sprang into the lead. At 50 meters, King had a lead of six hundredths of a second. At the 100, it remained an identical six-hundredths. But King made her move on the third 50, extending her lead to three-quarters of a second. Earp fought back valiantly on the final lap, making up some ground–but not enough. At the wall it was King, 2:29.95, Earp, 2:30.44.
The women's 800 free saw favorite Rebecca Cooke take the lead at 300 meters and extend it from there, winning in a lackluster 8:39.18. Sarah Collins was five seconds in arrears.
Six non-Olympic finals were contested tonight and, not surprisingly, few of the top competitors bothered to participate.
Thirty-five year-old Caroline Foot won the women's 50 meter fly in 27.73, under the Masters world record in her age group. Greg Phillips took the men's 50 fly in 25.04.
The 50 backstroke events saw Zoe Cray take the women's race in 29.83 while Brett Lumis was the men's winner at 26.61.
Zoe Baker won the women's 50 breast in 32.24, as Darren Mew picked up the gold in the men's 50 breast in 28.39.