INDIANAPOLIS, IN – At first, it looked like business as usual. Olympic champion Brooke Bennett gained a considerable advantage over the field in the 800-meter freestyle here at the U.S. Open Swimming Championships on Saturday.
Halfway through the race, Bennett had gained almost a three-second advantage over her closest competitor, Lake Erie’s Diana Munz. But that’s when Munz started to chip away at the advantage, closing the gap little-by-little, stroke-by-stroke. In the final 50 meters, the crowd roared the two with encouragement and Munz seemed to feed off the support, finally overtaking the Olympic champion in the inal meters, 8:36.23 to 8:36.88. Erica Rose, a Lake Erie teammate of Munz, finished third in 8:46.10. Munz and Bennett will meet again at the World Championships in Perth, Australia, next month.
“I’m ecstatic,” Munz said. “I’m so excited. We’ve been racing a long time and (Brooke’s) such a great swimmer.”