By Phillip Whitten
CLOVIS, Calif. Aug. 18. TEEN sensation Michael Phelps, late bloomer Gabrielle Rose and triple Olympic gold medalist Gary Hall, Jr. all scored impressive victories tonight, the final night of competition of the USA Swimming National Championships in Clovis, Calif.
Phelps, who became the youngest American male ever to set a world record when he smashed the 200 meter butterfly standard in March when he was 15, won his second gold medal in two nights tonight, upsetting a strong, experienced field to take the 200 meter individual medley in 2:00.86. Last night he won the 100m butterfly.
"My goal tonight was to break 2:01 and swim a time that would have won a medal at the World Championships lst month. I achieved that goal." Phelps' time makes him the fifth fastest American of all time in the event.
Rose, 23, a Stanford graduate, won her second event of the championships in convincing fashion, crushing the field in the women's 200 meter individual medley by more than two seconds and touching in a lifetime best 2:13.78. Like Phelps, she led from start to finish. Earlier in the meet she won the 100 meter freestyle.
After the meet, Phelps and Rose were honored as the men's and women's individual high point winners.
Gary Hall, Jr., who has only been training for two months following a long layoff after the Sydney Olympics, where he tied teammate Anthony Ervin for gold in the 50 freestyle, had no trouble in winning the 50 tonight, clocking a swift 22.15 sconds.
The women's 50 went to Tammie Stone, 25, who disposed of 16 year-old high school sensation Christina Swindle, 25.43 to 25.64.
Olympic bronze medalist Chris Thompson won the men's 1500 meters freestyle in 15:16.23, easily defeating Fran Crippen (15:31.42).
Lauren Costella won her first national title, taking the women's 1500 meters in 16:26.13.
USA National Swimming Championships
DAY FIVE: August 18, 2001
Women's 200 meter individual medley
1. Gabrielle Rose 2:13.78
2. Kristen Caverly 2:16.02
3. Leslie Lunsmann 2:16.17
Men's 200 meter individual medley
1. Michael Phelps 2:00.86
2. Joey Montague 2:02.64
3. Jan Vitazka 2:03.07
Women's 50 meter freestyle
1. Tammie Stone 25.43
2. Christina Swindle 25.64
3. Eileen Copparopa 25.70
Men's 50 meter freestyle
1. Gary Hall, Jr. 22.15
2. Aaron ciarla 22.58
3. Scott Tucker 22.73
Women's 1500 meter freestyle
1. Lauren Costella 16:26.13
2. Stephanie Carr 16:28.87
3. Meghan Sackett 16:36.93
Men's 1500 meter freestyle
1. Chris Thompson 15:16.23
2. Fran Crippen 15:31.42
3. Davis Tarwater 15:36.22