INDIANAPOLIS, IN – Robert Margalis, a 15-year-old high school student from Clearwater, Fla., won the 400-meter individual medley here at the U.S. Open, breaking a 12-year-old age group record and beating a field that including two 1996 Olympic medalists in the event.
Margalis swam the distance in 4:23.26, the fastest time ever by a U.S. citizen in the 15-16 age group. Margalis bettered the 1985 age group record of 4:24.56, set by Dave Wharton, who went on to become the 1988 Olympic silver medalist in the event.
“It’s awesome,” Margalis said. “I’m just here having a good time.”
Spanish Olympian Frederik Hviid placed second in 4:24.91, followed by 1996 Olympic bronze medalist Curtis Myden of Canada. 1996 Olympic champion and world record-holder Tom Dolan finished seventh in the field.
Margalis shaved and tapered for this meet, whereas many of the elite swimmers are training to peak at the world championships in Australia next month.
USC teammates Lenny Krayzelburg and Brad Bridgewater duplicated their feat from the previous night, winning first and second place in their specialty. Krayzelburg swam the 100-meter backstroke in 55.27, setting his second U.S. Open meet record in as many days. Bridgewater followed in second place in 57.02. The duo is training 15,000 meters a day in preparation for the world championships.
Lea Maurer, a schoolteacher from suburban Chicago, set a new U.S. Open meet record in winning the 100m backstroke. Maurer swam the distance in 1:01.83, well ahead of Olympic champion Beth Botsford at 1:03.40.