By Phillip Whitten
COLLEGE PARK, Maryland, August 6. IS there anything this kid can't do?
Swimming two "off events" back-to-back, Michael Phelps left his competition thrashing in his wake and, in the process, vaulted himself into the first rank of sprinters and became the third-fastest 200 meter backstroker in history.
Turning seventh in 24.41 for the first length of his 100 free, Mike came come in 24.78 to post an excellent 49.19 seconds winning time. The time makes him the third fastest American this year behind Jason Lezak and Scott Tucker. Tying for second were Neil Walker and Canadian Brent Hayden at 49.99.
About an hour later, young Master Phelps hopped into the water and proceeded to glide through 200 meters backstroke in 1:56.10, surpassing 1992 Olympic champion Martin Lopez Zubero of Spain to become the third-fastest man all-time. Only WR-holder Aaron Peirsol and former WR-holder Lenny Krayzelburg have swum faster. Nate O'Brien was second tonight in 2:01.01.
Stanford's Gary Marshall held off Canadian Mike Brown to take the 200 breast in 2:13.28 to Brown's 2:13.50. Marshall's time was slightly slower than his prelim time of 2:13.22.
After two second-place finishes in the first three events, a Canadian finally made it to the top rung of the podium when Brian Johns came from behind on the final lap to nip Tom Wilkens, 1:59.29 to 1:59.73. John Abercrombie won the B final in 1:59.85.
Sarah Wanezek and Stefanie Williams, who qualified one-two in the 100 free, finished one-two in the final. In a close finish, Wanezek won in 55.73 to Williams' 55.81. French teen Malia Metella, 17, was third in 55.84.
Canada's Jennifer Fratesi, 17, took the 200 back in 2:12.47, just ahead of 15 year-old Lauren Rogers, 2:14.86. France's Roxana Maracineanu, 1998 world champion, took the B final in 2:14.61. Diana Munz was third in the B final in 2:16.46.
We've been expecting it for two years now and tonight it happened: 17 year-old Caroline Bruce took the 200 breaststroke crown. Using a strong back half, the Wichita Swim Club ace won, going away, in 2:27.88. Fifteen year-old Rebecca Soni, the top qualifier, was second in 2:29.08, followed by former AR-holder Kristy Kowal (2:30.09) and Megan Quann (2:30.68).
Kaitlin Sandeno scored an impressive victory in the 200m fly, pulling away from a field that was tightly bunched at the 100, to win decisively in 2:08.78. She split 1:02.48 – 1:06.30.
Second went to her Trojan teammate Jana Krohn at 2:12.22. 2000 Olympic champ Misty Hyman, who qualified third, held a slight lead at the halfway point (1:02.36) but faded coming home and finished eighth in 2:14.67.