Taking a giant step to fulfill the Olympic dream that eluded him in 1996, Chad Carvin set an American record in winning the 400 meter freestyle at the World Cup meet held at the University of Maryland in College Park.
Carvin, of Laguna Hills, Calif., clocked 3:42.16 for the quarter mile, eclipsing Jeff Kostoff’s American record of 3:43.71 set back in 1983. Carvin’s time also set a U.S. Open mark, bettering the 3:42.18 swum by Aussie teen sensation Ian Thorpe one year ago. The world record, 3:35.01, was set by Australian Grant Hackett in April.
Carvin’s was only one of a several outstanding swims at the World Cup meet, the first in a series of meets held in North and South America, Asia and Europe.
Jenny Thompson and B.J. Bedford were both double winners on the first day of competition. Thompson, who broke Mary T. Meagher’s 18-year-old world record in the long course 100m butterfly at the Pan Pacific Championships in August, cruised to wins in the 100 fly and 50 free against tough competition.
In the fly, Thompson swam 57.64, not far off her world mark of 56.90, as she led two other Americans–Ashley Tappin and Richelle Rox–to the wall in under a minute. In the 50 free, her 24.74 edged comeback queen Dara Torres and Holland’s Inge De Bruijn, the world’s fastest woman in 1998 and ’99.
Bedford looked sharp in collecting wins in the 50 and 200 meter backstroke. In the 50, Bedford’s 27.90 was a U.S. Open record, erasing the 28.36 set last year by Beth Botsford, the 1996 Olympic champion. In the 200, Bedford handily defeated Lindsay Benko, the 1999 U.S. national champion and France’s Roxanna Maracineanu, the 1998 world champion. Bedford’s 2:07.71 just missed the American mark of 2:07.46 set by Natalie Coughlin last year.
Kristine Quance-Julian showed her comeback, after having a baby less than a year ago, is for real. Quance-Julian finished a close second in the 100 breast and 200 IM. Romanian Beatrice Caslaru took the medley in a swift 2:11.09, edging Quance-Julian and Slovakia’s Martina Moravcova. Moravcova, back in training after a thyroid operation, won the 200 in 1:57.69.
Dara Torres, a member of the 1984, ’88, and ’92 Olympic teams, and making a comeback at age 32, was a strong second in the 50 free (24.81) and third in the 200 (1:58.32).
Australia’s Brooke Hanson won the 100 breast while Cara Lane, a fast-improving American teen, bagged the 800 free by almost five seconds.
Jason Lezak, the 1999 U.S. national champion in the 100 free, tied the American record in his favorite event with a time of 48.19. Sabir Muhammad, who held the mark, finished third. Muhammad took the 50 fly in 23.72, with comebacker Byron Davis third in 24.21.
Ed Moses, the world’s fastest 100 meter breaststroker in 1999, won both the 50 and 200 breaststroke races. In the 50, he edged Germany’s Mark Warnecke, the world record-holder in the event, by a quarter of a second.
Finland’s Jani Sievinen, the world record-holder in both the 200 and 400 IM, won the 400 here in 4:13.44, four seconds ahead of Tom Dolan, who swam in his first meet in almost a year. Dolan also finished second to Carvin in the 400 free.
Double world record-holder Lenny Krayzelburg uncorked a splendid 100 meter backstroke, with his 51.82 less than four-tenths from Jeff Rouse’s short course world mark. He needed all of it, too, as Neil Walker finished right behind at 52.18.
Walker had an outstanding first day, finishing second in the 100 free and 100 back, and winning the 100 IM (54.45) over Sievinen, the world record-holder in this event, and Josh Davis, his teammate and the American record-holder.
Mexico’s Juan Veloz, a 16-year-old training at Mission Viejo in California, won the 200 meter fly, handily defeating Hungary’s Tamas Kerekjarto by almost two seconds.