By Phillip Whitten
CHARLOTTE, NC., June 7. OLYMPIC champion Tom Malchow blazed a 1:56.41 to win the men's 200 meter fly in the top swim on the third day of competition at the CHarlotte Ultraswim.
Splitting 56.10 at the 100 — just 1.1 seconds slower than his 100 meters yesterday — Malchow cruised home to win by almost four seconds over Michael Raab (2:00.27).
Mary Descenza took the women's 200 fly in 2:10.61, winning comfortably over Canada's Jennifer Button at 2:13.01.
The men's and women's 50 free saw that rarest of events — a tie. Not once, but twice. In the men's 50, Puerto Rico's Ricky Busquets and Circle C's Neil Walker hit the wall simultaneously in 23.35. The very next event saw Haley Cope and Rhi Jeffrey tie in the women's 50 with identical 26.02s.
Cope was the day's only double winner, as she also hit the wall first in the 100 back in 1:03.06, a second ahead of Kirsty Coventry (1:04.26).
James Wike deprived Neil Walker of a second gold medal, touching in 56.96, about 4-tenths ahead of Walker.
The men's 400 free featured a battle between Fran Crippen and American record-holder Klete Keller, with Crippen getting to the wall first in 3:53.81 — 12 hundredths ahead of Keller.
Flavia Rigamonti had a much easier time of it in the women's 400, stopping the clock in 4:12.99, almost six seconds ahead of Olympic champ Brooke Bennett's 4:18.91.
Sarah Poewe and Tara Kirk reversed the order of finish in yesterday's 100m breast, with the Bulldog coming from behind on the final 50 to record a 2:29.89, about a second ahead of Kirk's 2:30.75.
Sean Quinn added the 200 breast to his 100 meter win yesterday. His 2:19.62 was easily fast enough for the victory.
Auburn Aquatics swept the two medley relays, winning the men's race in 3:52.29 and the women's in 4:17.33