By Phillip Whitten
LONG BEACH, July 7. DEMERAE Christianson was the surprise of the women’s 100-meter butterfly semifinals tonight, posting the fastest time of the evening, 59.01. The swim makes her the ninth-fastest American all-time.
Swimming in the first heat, Christianson turned in 27.74 seconds, behind 16 year-old Dana Vollmer and Misty Hyman, but passed both with 25 meters to go. Vollmer touched right behind the Auburn Aquatics standout in 59.03, while Hyman touched third in 59.26, her fastest 100 fly in several years.
Jenny Thompson took heat 2 out hard, but as in the prelims, 27 year-old Rachel Komisarz caught her just before the wall. Komisarz’s 59.03, a lifetime best, tied her with Vollmer for second overall. Dana Kirk finished second in the heat in 59.17 with Thompson third in 59.17.
Tanica Jamison swam a lifetime best, 59.44, to qualify seventh while Mary Descenza was eighth in 59.65.
Whitney Myers just missed the final with her 59.72.