Lenny, Jenny, Kristine Shine at Nova

IRVINE, CA, June 5. Lenny Krayzelburg, Jenny Thompson and Kristine Quance-Julian turned in stellar performances at the 2000 Speedo Grand Challenge Swimming Invitational, held June 2-4 at the Heritage Aquatics Complex in Irvine, Calif.

Krayzelburg won both backstrokes, stroking 55.22 in the 100 meters, to beat Bobby Brewer (56.87), 16-year-old Aaron Peirsol (56.97) and Brad Bridgewater (57.34).
In the 200, he swam 1:58.40–the world's second fastest time this year–to again down Peirsol (1:59.47) and 1996 Olympic champion, Bridgewater (2:05.58). Only Peirsol's 1:57.03, swum at the USS Spring Nationals, is faster than the time Krayzelburg swam in Irvine.

Jenny Thompson served notice she has no plans to be swept away by the recent world-record performances by Holland's Inge De Bruijn. The former WR-holder in the 100 free and 100 fly swam very fast unshaved, unrested times in winning both events. Thompson hit the wall in 55.16 and 58.97 for the free and fly, respectively. She also had no trouble in winning the 200 free in 2:00.70, disposing of Dara Torres, Gabrielle Rose and Lindsay Benko.

Kristine Quance-Julian proved that motherhood is no bar to fast swimming. The Trojan star was the meet's high point winner with four gold medals and one bronze. In the 200m breast, Quance-Julian came roaring back from fourth place at the halfway mark, to nip 15 year-old Kristen Caverly 2:32.63 to 2:32.68. In the 200 IM she overcame a 2.6 second lead at 100 meters to edge Jenny Thompson, 2:16.43 to 2:16.99.

Quance-Julian had less trouble with her other two events, leading from start to finish in the 200 fly (2:14.03) and 400 IM (4:47.51).

Dara Torres set a meet record in the prelims of the 50 free, 25.54, then came back to win the finals in 25.65. Going up against her former training partner, Jenny Thompson, the 33 year-old Torres finished second in the 100 free (55.90) and 100 fly (1:00.68).

Jason Lezak uncorked a 49.63 in the prelims of the 100 free, then came back to win in 50.15. The Nova ace also took the 50 (23.09).

Fourteen year-old Diana MacManus edged national champion Lindsay Benko to win the 200 back in 2:18.18 to her older rival's 2:18.50. MacManus also finished second in the 100 back (1:04.22) behind Haley Cope (1:04.04).

Erin Sieper, 15, took the 100 breast in a strong 1:10.75, beating Stacianna Stitts, Quance-Julian and Caverly.

The men's 100 breast went to Steve West in 1:04.99. Kurt Grote, in his first appearance since knee surgery, took the 200 breast in 2:22.01.

Kevin Northup, former Miami of Ohio star, took the men's 100 fly in a close race, clocking 55.23. Matt Pierce (55.28), Micahel Cavic (55.73) and Byron Davis (55.83) followed. Mexico's Juan Veloz, 17, won the 200 fly in 2:01.55, with Pierce second again (2:02.08).

Erik Vendt took the long route to the victory stand, winning the 1500m free (15:28.77) and the 400 IM (4:25.89), while Brad Bridgewater was the winner of the 200 IM (2:07.43).

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