ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN, May 28. American record-holder Tom Malchow showed he's all business, recording the third fastest 200 meter butterfly time in history–unshaved and untapered–on the final night of competition of the Cadillac Challenge Series meet, held at the Canham Natatorium at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
Swimming before a home crowd, the 1996 Olympic silver medalist split 56.20 at the 100 before rushing home to touch in 1:55.68. Only the world record by Russia's Denis Pankratov (1:55.22) and Malchow's own American record (1:55.41) are faster.
Malchow wasn't the only hometown swimmer from Club Wolverine to heat up the pool. Chris Thompson recorded a very strong in-season time of 15:19.57 for the 1500, just three seconds ahead of Tyler Painter at 15:22.44.
The Santa Clara Swim Club also had two winners this evening. Tate Blahnik took the 200m backstroke in an excellent 2:00.90 while Tom Wilkens swam an equally strong 2:16.59 to win the 200m breaststroke, four seconds ahead of CW's Jeff Hopwood.
Neil Walker stroked to victory in the 100 free, touching in 50.39 seconds.
Kristy Kowal of Athens Bulldogs (GA) continued her torrid pace, winning the women's 200 meter breaststroke in an outstanding 2:27.91. Kowal even-split the race, going out in 1:13.51 and coming home in 1:14.40. Northwestern's Amy Balcerzak finished runner-up, as she did in the 100 meters.
Another Bulldog, Amanda Adkins came roaring from behind to win the 200m backstroke in 2:14.28 over Lea Maurer (2:15.03). Maurer, who won the 100 back yesterday, led almost the entire way, making the final turn 1.2 seconds ahead of Adkins. But Adkins' Bulldog tenacity paid off on the final lap as she finished strongly for the win.
Samantha Arsenault of Greenwood Swim Club (MA), who won the 200m freestyle last night, took the 100 meters this evening, upsetting her older and better-known competitors. The 18-year-old clocked 56.89, just hanging on by a fingernail to edge fast-closing Courtney Shealy, the NCAA champion. B.J. Bedford was third at 57.32, followed by Amy Van Dyken (57.33). Van Dyken had qualified first at 57.26.
Kaitlin Sandeno, 17, withstood the challenges from two 15-year-olds to take the 200m fly in 2:13.81. Mary Descenza (2:15.65) and Kalyn Keller (2:17.25) followed her to the wall.
Diana Munz had no trouble winning the 800m free, her 8:40.39 almost eight seconds faster than Kalyn Keller's 8:48.01.