By Phillip Whitten
AUBURN, Alabama. November 30. TWO U.S. Open meet records were broken and American Olympic champions, Megan Quann and Ed Moses, won one event each, to highlight action on the first night of competition at the U.S. Open Swimming Championships, being held at Auburn University. The meet is being held over a short course (25 meters).
Quann, 16, who predicted she would win Olympic gold in the women's 100 meter breaststroke and then did just that, captured her specialty tonight in 1:07.25, breaking her own meet record of 1:07.41 set two years ago.
Moses, 20, the Olympic silver medalist in the men's 100 meter breaststroke and the world record holder over the 100 meters short course, ran away with his race tonight. His time of 59.70 seconds was more than two seconds ahead of the field.
Venezuelan Olympian, Ricardo Monasterio, out-duelled the USA's Robert Margalis to take the men's 400 meter freestyle. His time, 3:48.92, was more than a second under the old meet record. Margalis, too, dipped under the old standard with his 3:49.44.
Janelle Atkinson, who just missed becoming Jamaica's first swimmer to win an Olympic medal when she finished fourth in the 400 free in Sydney, came storming from behind tonight to win her specialty in 4:07.43, more than half a second ahead of the USA's Rachel Komisarz.
Maggie Bowen, a student at Auburn, thrilled the home crowd when she came from behind to pass 16 year-old Nicole Mackey and win the women's 200 meter individual medley in 2:11.30. The men's 200 meter IM was an entirely different race, with Honda Vitazka, of the Czech Republic, leading from start to finish. His 1:58.35 was almost three seconds faster than Robert Margalis, who notched his second silver medal of the evening.
Jamie Reid, a teammate of Quann's at the Puyallup Swim Club in suburban Seattle, had to come from behind to win the women's 200 meter backstroke in 2:09.47. Nicole Mackey, who led through 150 meters, was second in 2:10.43. The men's 200 back went to France's Romain Barnier in 1:58.99, as he fought off the USA's Chris DeJong.
Christina Swindle showed why she is being tabbed as America's next great sprinter. The just-turned-16 Swindle, who broke Dara Torres's 15 year-old national high school record in the 50 yard freestyle three weeks ago, powered to victory in the 50 meters tonight in 25.17. Rhiannon Jeffrey, just 14, was second in 25.62. The men's 50 free went to France's Michel Picotte in 22.36.