By Phillip Whitten
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn., January 19. SIXTEEN year-old speedster Dana Vollmer, who appropriately represents FAST (Fort Worth Area Swim Team) was the outstanding performer at the Tom Malchow Grand Prix, held January 16-18 at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.
Vollmer won the 50 meter free (26.05), 100 free 957.26), 200 free (2:00.75), 100 fly (1:00.00) and 200 fly (2:14.00). She also finished third in the 100 back and seventh in the 400 free.
Two other women were triple winners in chilly Minneapolis. 2000 Olympian Diana Munz, Lake Erie Silver Dolphins, showed she's gearing up for Athens, with a distance treble: the 400 free (4:14.00), 800 free (8:39.87) and 1500 (16:41.94). She was also second in the 200 back and third in the 200 free.
Pam Hanson, 24, was the other woman to take three gold. The Lady Vols standout took the 100 back in 1:02.70, the 200 back in 2:14.00 and the 200 IM in 2:18.22.
Several men were double winners:
* Mission Viejo's Justin Mortimer looked sharp in taking the 400 (3:51.49) and 800 meter free (8:02.93).
* Britain's Matt Kidd, swimming for Auburn, took the freestyle sprints in 23.24 and 50.83.
* Scotland's Gregor Tait won both dorsal events, clocking excellent early-season times of 55.69 for the 100 meters and 1:59.52.
Tait was part of an impressive Scottish National Team contingent that ran away with the team title. Todd Cooper won the 100 fly in a PR 53.45, edging Japan's Takashi Yamamoto (53.70), the Asian record-holder, followed by the US pair of Ben Michaelson (54.08) and Tom Malchow (54.68).
Kirsty Balfour set a Scottish national record in winning the women's 200m breast in 2:29.41; her old mark, set in 2002, was 2:30.8.
Graeme Smith, 28, pulled away from Chris Thompson to take the men's 1500 in a solid 15:15.98, with Thompson following three strokes later in 15:18.79.
Britain's James Goddard, swimming for Stockport, won the 200 IM in 2:03.03. He holds the British marks in both medleys at 2:02.48 and 4:19.60. His Stockport teammate, Adrian Turner, won the longer IM this weekend in a cool 4:22.14.
Tom Malchow scored a win in his pet event, the 200 fly, at his own meet. The 2000 Olympic champion stroked 1:57.40 (55.45 split) to defeat Japan's Yamamoto (1:58.62).
Another 2000 Olympian, Klete Keller, 21, took the 200 free in 1:51.15.
Masters swimmers saw two of their own do them proud:
Canadian Lisa Blackburn, 30, swimming for the Region of Waterloo, placed third in the 100m breast (1:12.26) and ninth in the 200 (2:38.68).
Trina Radke, 33, a 1988 Olympian on the comeback trail for '04, placed in five events. The University of California grad was second in the 50 free (26.69), fourth in the 100 free (58.02) anad eighth in both the 200 free (2:08.71p) and 200 IM (2:26.50p). After qualifying in 1:03.35 in the 100 fly, she clocked a 1:02.66 in the final, good for second behind Vollmer, but was DQ'ed.