WEST LAFAYETTE, Indiana, December 1. THE second night of the U.S. Open, held at the Boilermaker Aquatic Center on the campus of Purdue University, was highlighted by athletes with Olympic experience. The meet features a number of swimmers who will be medal contenders at next year's World Championships in Melbourne. Here's a look at the action.
Women's 100 Backstroke
Zimbabwe's Kirsty Coventry, an Auburn product, got the night rolling with a championship-record swim of 1:01.34. Coventry trailed American Margaret Hoelzer at the midpoint, but had plenty of speed in the final lap to get to the wall first. Leila Vaziri, an Indiana University standout, finished second in 1:02.05, just ahead of Hoelzer's 1:02.22.
Men's 100 Backstroke
On the first night of action, Ryan Lochte didn't have the strongest of showings. But, the versatile Olympian certainly excelled on Day Two. In a battle with Doug Van Wie at the 50-meter mark, Lochte powered through the final lap and took the 100 backstroke in a championship-record time of 54.37. Van Wie was the second-place finisher in 55.69.
Adam Mania was third in 55.99 and 2000 Olympic champion Lenny Krayzelburg was fourth in 56.93. The former world-record holder in the event, Krayzelburg is in the middle of a comeback. He was followed by Yale's Alex Righi, who checked in with a mark of 57.03.
Women's 200 Freestyle
Best known for her prowess in the 200 butterfly, Mary DeScenza (Athens Bulldogs) bested the field in the 200 free with a winning effort of 2:01.05. DeScenza held the lead throughout the race and registered a one-plus second triumph over Chanelle Watson (2:02.27). Brittany Reimer, Canada's elite distance freestyler, was third in 2:02.53 and Emily Kukors placed fourth in 2:02.72.
Men's 200 Freestyle
One of the top duels of the night emerged in the four-lap freestyle as American Michael Phelps and Great Britain's Simon Burnett battled to the wall. The American-record holder and bronze medalist in the 200 free at the Athens Olympics, Phelps won in 1:49.48. Phelps was in front from the start, but had Burnett pushing the whole way. Over the final 50 meters, the eight-time Olympic medalist pulled away. Burnett finished in 1:50.11.
Women's 100 Butterfly
Not long removed from her triumph in the 200 free, Mary DeScenza picked up a double when she held off Rachel Komisarz in the 100 fly. DeScenza was timed in 59.47, enough to defeat Komisarz and her swim of 59.71. Slovakia's Martina Moravcova was third in 1:00.11 and rising American Felicia Lee went 1:00.31 for fourth place.
Men's 100 Butterfly
Trailing at the 50-meter mark, world-record holder Ian Crocker turned on the jets during the final lap and prevailed in his prime event with a time of 52.78. Crocker was behind Northwestern University's Kyle Bubolz at the turn, but caught his competition down the stretch. Bubolz managed to take second place in 53.45. Peter Verhoef wasn't far behind for third place in 53.59.
Women's 400 Individual Medley
It's quite simple. She owns the event. Pushed by Kaitlin Sandeno through the first half of the race, Katie Hoff opened up a sizable lead on the breaststroke leg and rolled through the finish to win the 400 I.M. in a quality showing of 4:38.38. The reigning world champion in the event, Hoff held a narrow lead on Sandeno through 200 meters but opened up her margin over the final four laps to set a meet record.
Sandeno, the 2004 Olympic silver medalist in the 400 I.M., was timed in 4:45.20 for second place. Sandeno finished comfortably ahead of Caitlin Leverenz, a member of Team USA's National Junior team. Levernz checked in at 4:49.89, ahead of the 4:50.55 of Kirsten Groome (North Baltimore).
Men's 400 Individual Medley
Considering his portfolio at the international level, it shouldn't come as a surprise that Tunisian Olympian Ous Mellouli won the 400 I.M. in 4:15.61. But, when taking into account that it came over Michael Phelps, the world-record holder, the win looks that much better. Surging through the last half of the race, Mellouli pulled away from Phelps, who was timed in 4:18.32.
Mellouli and Phelps were pretty much even at the 200-meter mark, but Mellouli gradually moved ahead during the breaststroke leg and then maintained his advantage. Eric Shanteau was the third-place finisher in 4:19.93 and Robert Margalis was fourth in 4:22.19.
Women's 400 Medley Relay
Auburn University took a narrow win over King Aquatics as the foursome of Melissa Marik, Abby MacGregor, Julie Stupp and Kara Denby produced an effort of 4:17.36. King was timed in 4:18.00, largely behind a 1:08.63 breaststroke leg from Megan Jendrick.
Men's 400 Medley Relay
Behind a 55.68 backstroke leadoff from Michael Phelps, Club Wolverine won the race in 3:46.75, a hundredth quicker than the time popped by the University of Michigan Swim Team. Phelps was followed by Peter Vanderkaay, Davis Tarwater and Klete Keller. Michigan went 3:46.76 behind the unit of Matt Patton, Scott Spann, Chris Brady and Bobby Savulich.