SANTA CLARA, California, July 1. SUPERSTAR Michael Phelps demonstrated some fireworks just a few days before the U.S. celebrates its independence when he snared three gold medals on the last night of the Santa Clara International Grand Prix.
Phelps took home the title in the 100 free, 200 IM and 100 back during the final night of long course meter swimming at the meet held in Santa Clara, Calif., from June 28-July 1.
Phelps started off the back-to-back-to-back triumphs with a meet record in the 100 free when he clocked in at 49.10. That time surpassed the 49.24 set by Anthony Ervin in 2001. It also held off Brent Hayden (49.34) and Eamon Sullivan (49.35), sprint freestyle stars in their own rights.
In the 200 IM, Phelps notched a 1:59.71 to defeat Brian Johns' second-place 2:01.38. He then downed backstroke specialist David Cromwell, 54.45 to 54.93, in the 100 back to erase Phelps' meet-record time of 54.80 set in 2006.
In women's battles, Caitlin Leverenz of El Dorado and Julia Smit dueled in the 200 IM as both eclipsed the meet record of 2:14.33 set by Ariana Kukors last year. Leverenz hit the wall first in 2:13.82, while Smit punched the clock in 2:14.04.
Additionally, Australia's Meagen Nay shot down a 15-year-old meet record of Lea Loveless set in 1992 at 2:12.07 with a time of 2:11.13. Japan's Tomoyo Fukuda placed second in 2:12.17, while Smit finished third in 2:12.83.
Meanwhile, world record holder Brendan Hansen touched out Longhorn teammate Eric Shanteau, 2:13.49 to 2:13.73, to win the 200 breaststroke.
Kim Vandenberg wound up with the 200 fly crown in 2:09.02 as she finished ahead of Mary DeScenza (2:10.65) and Elaine Breeden (2:11.44).
In the women's 50 free sprint, 15-year-old Cate Campbell of Australia conquered the field in 25.17 with Emily Silver (25.42) and Brooke Bishop (25.56) placing second and third, respectively.
Michael Klueh of Longhorn grabbed the men's 1500 freestyle title in 15:08.28, while the women's 800 freestyle came down to Hayley Peirsol in 8:33.27.