EAST MEADOW, NY – Winning the final relay, Germany defeated the U.S. men’s swim team in dual meet competition at the 1998 Goodwill Games. Germany won 63-59, while the World All-Stars outscored Russia 66-56.
The Americans led 59-56 going into the meet’s final event, the 400m freestyle relay, thanks in part to Kurt Grote, who swept the breaststroke events and swam on the winning medley relay. Grote, the 1998 world champion in the 200m breaststroke, won the 100m breast in 1:01.76, breaking the Goodwill Games’ meet record and edging Jens Kruppa by just 0.03 seconds. The 200m breaststroke wasn’t so close. Grote won in 2:13.39, followed by up-and-comer Patrick Fowler in second with 2:18.83.
Grote teamed with Lenny Krayzelburg, Martin Zielinski and Bryan Jones to win the 400m medley relay in 3:40.65. Krayzelburg’s lead-off leg of 54.72 was also a meet record, but not for long. German Stev Theloke, who sat out the evening’s first event, the medley relay, won the 100m backstroke over Krayzelburg, 54.43 to 55.14. Krayzelburg, the 1998 world champion in both backstrokes, bounced back to win the 200m backstroke by two seconds in 1:59.90.
New Jersey native Bill Pilczuk won the 50m freestyle in 22.63 and fellow New Jersey native Ron Karnaugh cruised to victory in the 200m individual medley in 2:02.18, a Goodwill Games’ meet record. Karnaugh and the rest of the U.S. team were sporting New York Yankee hats that were sent by Yankee owner George Steinbrenner.