Olympians Dominate First Two Days of Kerr-McGee Pro-Am

By Phil Whitten

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla., Dec. 14. THE Kerr-McGee Corporation Pro-Am Elite Meet, was dominated by the nation's established stars on the first two nights of competition.

The meet pits the nation's top pro swimmers against some of the best amateurs, with the pros vying for prizes of $600, $300 and $100 for first, second and third place.

Olympians Ron Karnaugh, Josh Davis, Neil Walker, Chad Carvin and Amanda Beard all were winners tonight, though up-and-coming 14 year-old Dana Vollmer held on to win the women's 100 yard fly.

Friday's night's competition was highlighted by a national age group record for girls 15-16 in the 800 yard freestyle relay. The Dallas Mustangs' A Team clocked 7:27.08 to win the event. What's more, all four girls are 15. The record breaking team consisted of Codie Hansen (1:49.81), Jennifer Blackman (1:51.13), Kate Gunning (1:58.15) and Candace Blackman (1:46.99).

In tonight's events, Texas Aquatics' Colleen Lanne, a double NCAA champion last March, took the women's 200 yard free in 1:47.07, overcoming teammate Tammie Stone in the final length. Stone finished in a pr 1:47.35. Placing eighth in that race was 39 year-old Karlyn Pipes-Neilsen, whose 1:51.58, was just .03 shy of her own Masters national record for women 35-39.

The men's 200 yard free fell to two-time Olympian Josh Davis, 29, of Circle C (Austin), who led from start to finish to win in a speedy 1:35.58. Second place went to his 2000 Olympic Team teammate, Scott Tucker, in 1:36.28. Davis split: 21.82, 46.15, 1:11.30, 1:35.58.

Nova Aquatics' Amanda Beard, another two-time Olympian, won the women's 100 yd. breast in a pool and meet record 1:01.18, shaking 15 year-old Caroline Bruce of Wichita in the second 50. Bruce recorded a pr 1:01.75.

Dr. Ron Karnaugh, still going strong at 35, was the upset winner of the men's 100 breast, splitting 25.85 at the 50 and touching in 55.26 to defeat Val Kalmikovs (56.01). Karnaugh's time betters the national Masters record of 55.86 for men 35-39. That mark was held by Wally Dicks.

Fourteen year-old Dana Vollmer of FAST, went out fast in the women's 100 fly, then held on to win in an impressive 53.72. Vollmer's first 50 (24.65 seconds) was .65sec faster than Bethany Goodwin's. Goodwin was closing fast but ran out of room, finishing just 5-hundredths behind the teen whiz. Amanda Beard was third in 54.53.

Former Texas star Neil Walker took the men's 100 fly in a meet and pool record 46.44 seconds. The old mark, 46.92, was set three years ago by Sabir Muhammad.
Like Vollmer, Walker took the lead at the start and was never headed, splitting 21.33 at the 50. Second place went to former National Resident Team member Jarod Schroeder, 28 (47.62), while Jason Lezak took third (47.80).

Caroline Bruce won the women's 400 IM easily in 4:20.80, while Chad Carvin, 27, beat Ron Karnaugh to the wall in 3:49.27, one second shy of the meet and pool record set by Karnaugh in 1998. The win was Carvin's second here; he took the 1000 free last night.

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