By Phillip Whitten
SAN ANTONIO, December 3. UNLIKE yesterday, when foreign swimmers walked away with six of the 12 gold medals on offer, today visitors could manage only one win. But that one was the day's best swim.
Costa Rica's Claudia Poll took the women's 200m freestyle in a very strong early-season 2:00.34. As she did yesterday in the 400 free, the 1996 Olympic champion had to contend with Canada's teen distance ace, Brittany Reimer. This time, however, Poll led all the way, holding off Reimer's strong finish on the final lap to clinch the gold. Reimer followed in 2:00.75.
US Olympian Ryan Lochte cruised to two easy wins this evening. He took the 100m back in 56.14 then followed with a 4:29.95 effort to annex the 400 IM.
Sun Devils' Nick Brunelli, a gold medalist at the Short Course World Championships in October, won his second event here. Yesterday the former ASU speedster took the 50m free in 22.84. Today he added the 200 with a come-from-behind victory in the evening's most exciting contest.
Trailing Japan's Daisuke Hosokawa and Britain's Gavin Meadows at the 100, Brunelli made his move and took the lead on the third lap, then just barely fended off his foreign challengers to touch first in 1:51.80. Meadows followed in 1:51.89, then Hosokawa, 1:52.06.
The men's 100 fly saw UNLV's Joe Bartoch hold off 16 year-old Ricky Berens of Mecklenburg Aquatic Club, 54.68 to 54.89.
Fifteen year-old Trish Weaner overcame a 15-hundredths disadvantage at the 50 to take the women's 100 back in 1:03.59 from Kristen Leahy, 1:03.88.
Amanda Sims of Santa Rosa Swim Club completed an even more spectacular comeback. Fourth at the 50, Sims — who was profiled on SwimInfo at the Olympic Trials in July — came storming back to take the 100 fly comfortably in 1:01.28.
Jennifer Forster, winner of the 200 IM yesterday, added the 400 IM to her collection of gold tonight. Trailing Florida's Carmen Retrum at the halfway mark, Forster took the lead on the breaststroke leg, then hung on for the win in 4:50.96 to Retrum's 4:51.73.