By P.H. Mullen
She didn't set the world record she had promised all week, but Puyallup's
Megan Quann did the next best thing, winning the women's 100-m breast in
The race was the closest of the evening with Quann going stroke for stroke
against her friendly archrival Kristy Kowal of Georgia to the wall. Quann
led at the 50 meters, but it briefly appeared as if Kowal took command
coming off the wall. As the two racers–Quann with her rapid-fire, rolling
stroke and Kowal with her wide, arching arm pulls–charged under flags
together, Quann moved ahead and finished .3 seconds ahead, 1:07.54 to
1:07.85. It was her third American record of the day, having set both the
50-m and 100-m standards during her prelim swim.
"To be honest, I don't remember the race," Quann said. "I just kept telling
myself, 'Go fast, go fast, go fast.'"
Before tonight's finals, she studied a video of her preliminary swim and
made several corrections to her kick and head position that she credited to
tonight's .2 second drop.
In the men's action, Olympian Tom Dolan continued to astound on the fourth
day of the Phillips 66 National Championships, winning his second event of
the meet, this time a hard-fought battle in the 400-m free over defending
national champion Chad Carvin.
Curl-Burke's Dolan, who was out of commission for most of 1999 after
suffering a knee injury during a pick-up basketball game, hung on Carvin's
hip for the first 200 meters of the race, swimming close to the lane line
and benefiting from the Irvine swimmer's drag.
At the race's halfway point, Dolan began building into his speed by
increasing his arm turnover. Slowly he inched closer to Carvin, and at the
300 meters they turned together. With his body out of alignment, his kick
erratic and his arms chopping and spinning through the water, he fought into
the lead on the second-last lap and then gutted it out to win. His time of
3:49.59 was only .6 seconds off his all-time best from 1996. Carvin hit the
wall in 3:50.39.
In the men's 100-m backstroke race, Neil Walker of the Texas Aquatics took
command from the start with his signature power kick and by 25 meters
enjoyed a half body-length lead. He came strong off the wall at 50 meters
to further extend his lead and then held off charges by runner-up Aaron
Piersol, 16, of Irvine Nova and Team TYR's Bobby Brewer, 26.
For Walker, it was his second gold of the meet, having captured the 100-m
freestyle two days earlier. His time of 54:58 made him the sixth-fastest
performer in history.
Coming directly from the classroom to the fast lane, English teacher Lea
Maurer, 28, of the Badger Swim Club won the women's 100-m back,
outdistancing 200-m back winner, Puyallup's Jamie Reid, 1:01.47 to 1:02.29.
Lake Erie's Diana Munz continued to script her own remarkable comeback
story, winning her second event of the meet with a lifetime-best 4:08.56 in
the 400-m freestyle over 1996 Olympic champion Brooke Bennett. Munz, who
injured her back in a serious car accident last summer, also captured the
800-m free on the first day of the meet.
Curl-Burke's Ed Moses, feeling tired after his recent NCAA races, won his
second breastroke event of the meet over Brendan Hansen and Bengal Jarrod
Marrs, who tied for second. Moses controlled the race until the final 25
meters. He began to falter at the same moment Hansen and Marrs seemed to
gain second winds but hung on to win, 1:01.43 to their 1:02.35s.
In the women's 100-m fly, Dallas Mustang's multitalented Martina Moravcova
won on the back half of the race, pulling away from early leader Dara Torres
of Santa Clara to finish in 58.41 to Torres' 59.54. For the Slovakian
Moravcova, the time was a European record.
The men's 100-m fly was won by Hungarian Olympian Zsolt Gaspar in 52.93.
Finishing second was NCAA champion Adam Pine in 53.07.