By Mary Wagner
(courtesy of USA Swimming)
EAST MEADOW, N.Y., Dec. 1. AFTER Michael Phelps had swum the 400m IM at the 2001 U.S. Open Friday night, he left a field of competitors and a meet record in
Phelps, 16, the world record holder in the 200 fly, won the event with a time of 4:11.95, shattering the old meet record by one and a half seconds and outdistancing his closest competitor by two and a half body lengths.
It was his second win of the meet after finishing first in the 200m IM on Thursday night.
"I was a little tired from yesterday's races, so I thought I'd just go in today and give it everything I had, go all out and see what happened," Phelps said.
"I think I was pretty successful. I had a pretty good drop from this morning, about nine seconds, so I was pretty happy with that swim."
Phelps' swim was one of just a handful of victories for U.S. swimmers Friday. In the 200m free, Lindsay Benko out-touched Janelle Atkinson for the win with a time of 1:59.28. That avenged an earlier loss to Atkinson in the 400 free on Thursday.
"I tried to pace myself tonight because I knew that Janelle was going to go out fast," Benko said. Compared to last night's swim, I am more confident in
my 200 than my 400. I wasn't as tired tonight, and I did hold off a bit last night."
Then the U.S. swimmer took first in both the men's and women's 100m fly, with Mary DeScenza winning the women's title and Tom Malchow taking the men's.
DeScenza also won the 200m fly earlier in the week at the FINA World Cup Series meet. Her time in the 100 Friday was 59.21.
"It's great to win the 100, because it's one of my strongest events, but it was great to win the 200, too, because it shows I'm improving," DeScenza said.
"It definitely helped build up my confidence. All these meets are stepping stones to help me prepare for bigger meets."
Malchow came back from fourth place at the 50-meter mark to win with a time of 53.68.
"I'm used to the 200 fly, so it was a quick race for me," Malchow said. "I had to concentrate on the back half of my race because I knew if I went out too slow that the race would be over before I knew it.
"It was good competition, a solid group out there. I feel like I'm starting to step into the crowd of 100 fly swimmers. Since I've always been a 200 fly swimmer, I feel really good about that."
Hong Zhe Sun, a resident of Hawaii, won the 100m back with a time of 54.73. Sun is currently in the process of becoming an American citizen. He also won the 200m back Thursday night.
"Actually, coming in, I expected to be in the top three, but I wasn't looking to get first," Sun said.
"If I hit my turns, I knew I would improve my times.
"Tonight, even though I didn't hit every turn like I wanted, my stroke took care of that, and so did my finish. I was able to go a half a second faster than this morning, so I'm pretty happy with the way I've been swimming."
The U.S. Open will continue with its final night Saturday at the Nassau County Aquatics Center in East Meadow.
WOMEN'S 100M BACKSTROKE
1, Louise Ornstedt, Denmark, 1:00.82; 2, Frances Adcock, Australia, 1:01.01; 3, Anu Koivisto, Dallas, Texas, 1:01.06.
MEN'S 100M BACKSTROKE
1, Hong Zhe Sun, Honolulu, Hawaii, 54.73; 2, Austin Thomas, Phoenix, Ariz., 55.33; 3, David Plummer, Norman, Okla., 55.43.
WOMEN'S 200M FREESTYLE
1, Lindsay Benko, Elkhart, Ind., 1:59.28; 2, Janelle Atkinson, Jacksonville, Fla., 1:59.45; 3, Manon Van Rooyen, Miami, Fla., 1:59.75.
MEN'S 200M FREESTYLE
1, Romain Barnier, Auburn, Ala., 1:45.47; 2, George Bovell, Jacksonville, Fla., 1:47.58; 3, Michael Phelps, Baltimore, Md., 1:47.70.
WOMEN'S 100M BUTTERFLY
1, Mary DeScenza, Naperville, Ill., 59.21; 2, McCall Dorr, Dallas, Texas, 1:00.46; 3, Rebecca Sturdy, Anacortes, Wash., 1:00.57.
MEN'S 100M BUTTERFLY
1, Tom Malchow, St. Paul, Minn., 53.68; 2, Ales Abersek, Slovenia, 54.18; 3, Honza Vitazka, Columbus, Ohio, 54.22.
WOMEN'S 400M INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY
1, Alenka Kejzar, Dallas, Texas, 4:38.97; 2, Maddy Crippen, Philadelphia, Pa., 4:43.03; 3, Andrea Cassidy, Dallas, Texas, 4:43.67.
MEN'S 400M INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY
1, Michael Phelps, Baltimore, Md., 4:11.95 (meet record); 2, Robert Margalis, St. Petersburg, Fla., 4:16.22; 3, Kevin Dupuis, Ohio, 4:19.55.