Phelps, Atkinson Impress at US Open, Kejzar Wins Two

By Mary Wagner
(Courtesy of USA Swimming)

EAST MEADOW, NY, Nov. 30. THE Americans had a solid showing on the first night of the U.S. Open at the
Nassau County Aquatic Center, with U.S. swimmers taking first place in five of the 10 events Thursday.

Michael Phelps, the world record holder in the 200m fly, kicked it all off with a win in the 200m IM. Phelps time of 1:59.07 was good enough to hold off a charge in the breaststroke from second place finisher George Bovell.

"I thought after the breast it would be a little tight, because that's where everyone seems to catch me," Phelps said. "But I didn't expect it to be that
close. My kick's pretty good, and once I lay my six-beat kick down in the freestyle, things go the way I want them to.

"I would have like to be a little faster, but for right now, that was pretty good."

Winning the men's 400m free was Robert Margalis, who took an early lead and held off Olympic silver medalist Chris Thompson in the final 100 meters of
the race. Margalis finished with a time of 3:49.27.

"I'm typically able to have a pretty good last 100," Margalis said. "That wasn't as fast as I planned, but I wasn't worried. "I swam better than this morning. The time was a little slow, and I would have liked to be a little faster, but I can't complain with a win, though."

American swimmers paced the field in both the men's and women's 100m breast. First, Olympic gold medalist Megan Quann held off Australia's Brooke Hanson and Japan's Masami Tanaka to take gold with a time of 1:07.40. Then, Ed Moses turned in a decisive win over the field in 1:00.26.

"I thought it was a really good race with a lot of competition," Quann said. "The U.S., Australia and Japan are all powerhouses, and all three were here
tonight. It was definitely a fun race."

Moses was also pleased with his performance. "Not bad," he said. "I went about the same as last night (at the FINA World Cup), and I had another hard workout this morning, so I'm pretty happy. It shows I'm swimming pretty consistent right now."

Christina Swindle won the 50m free in a time of 25.08. Swindle, who broke the national high school record in the 50y free last week was gunning for the meet record Thursday night but came up a little short.

"I've beaten both girls before, so I didn't feel like I had too much pressure tonight," Swindle said. "I was actually hoping to go under 25 tonight, and maybe get the meet record. Maybe next year."

In other highlights, Slovenia's Alenka Kejzar, a swimmer at SMU, was the only double event winner of the evening, taking first in the women's 200m IM
(2:13.10, a meet record) and the 200m back (2:09.01). Hong Zhe Sun, who now swims in Hawaii and will reportedly be applying for American citizenship,
won the men's 200m back with a time of 1:57.74.

Jamaica's Janelle Atkinson, a sophomore at the University of Florida, had a strong 400 free, winning in 4:05.39, four-and-a-half seconds ahead of US Olympian Lindsay Benko.

The SMU women's 800m free relay team of Lotta Wanberg, Flavi Rigamonti, McCall Dorr and Lisa Wanberg set a meet record with a time of 8:06.04.

1, Alenka Kejzar, Dallas, (SLO) 2:13.10
2, Brooke Hanson, Victoria (AUS) 2:14.37
3, Anu Kovisto, Dallas, (FIN) 2:14.74

1, Michael Phelps, Baltimore, Md., 1:59.07
2, George Bovell, Jacksonville (TRI) 2:00.02
3, Honza Vitazka, Columbus, Ohio (CZE) 2:00.08

1, Janelle Atkinson, Jacksonville (JAM)4:05.39
2, Lindsay Benko, Elkhart,Ind., 4:08.85
3, Lotta Wanberg, Dallas (SWE) 4:09.46

1, Robert Margalis, St. Petersburg, FL 3:49.27
2, Chris Thompson, Ann Arbor, Mich., 3:49.76
3, Peter Vanderkaay, Oakland, Calif., 3:52.70

1, Megan Quann, Puyallup, Wash., 1:07.40
2, Brooke Hanson, Victoria (AUS), 1:07.71
3, Masami Tanaka, Irvine, Calif. (JPN) 1:07.98

1, Ed Moses, Burke, Va. 1:00.26
2, Garth Fealey, Princeton, 1:01.61
3, Vlad Polyakov, Coral Springs, Fla., 1:01.87

1, Alenka Kejzar, Dallas, Texas (SLO) 2:09.01
2, Tay Zimmer, Victoria (AUS), 2:09.95
3, Anu Kovivisto, Dallas, Texas (FIN) 2:10.31

1, Hong Zhe Sun, Iolani, Hawaii (CHN) 1:57.74
2, Keith Beavers, Ontario, (CAN) 1:57.79
3, Michael Phelps, Baltimore, Md., 1:58.35

1, Christina Swindle, Miami, Fla., 25.08
2, Amanda Weir, Atlanta, Ga., 25.19
3, Laura Pomeroy, CAN 25.32

1, Julio Santos, Phoenix, Ariz. (ECU) 22.42
2, Donald Gold, Bloomington, Ind., 22.62
3, Austin Thomas, Phoenix, Ariz., 22.65

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