By Josh Jeffrey
BALTIMORE, August 4. BEN Michaelson and Michael Raab, both headed for the upcoming Pan American Games, put in some very impressive performances at the Speedo Mid-Atlantic Sectional Championships held in Baltimore, July 24-27, to set the stage for fast swimming in Santo Domingo.
Michaelson won three events in total, taking the 50 (23.53) and 100 freestyles (51.53) before winning the 100 fly in a scorching 54.39, taking more than a second off the meet record of 55.41 set by Raab last year.
Michaelson, Swimming World's June 2003 coverboy, has been on fire since his performance at this spring's Duel in the Pool, where he became the third fastest 100 meter-butterflier in US history with a time of 52.76. Pan Ams, just a week away, may prove to be his breakout meet, just as it did for Ed Moses in 1999.
Raab, not to be outdone, popped a 2:00.03 to win the 200 meter butterfly, some five seconds ahead of his nearest competitor, and also under his own meet record of 2:00.35 from last year. To his credit, his time for second in the 100 fly (55.23) was also under the previous meet record.
Though there were no other Trials standards met on the men's side, there were plenty of good performances. Mark Liscinsky of Curl-Burke broke the meet record in the men's 200 freestyle. His time of 1:52.55 erased the name of Olympic champion Tom Dolan from the books. Dolan set the old mark at 1:53.65 last year.
Double winners included NBAC's Scott Pitz, who took control of the 100 (1:05.72) and 200 (2:22.83) breaststrokes, and Steven Fleming, who won both dorsal events in 58.83 and 2:07.41 respectively.
Sixtten year-old Cory Knopp of North Baltimore took a difficult double in winning the 1500 free (15:54.94), and 400 IM (4:39.09).
Butterfly appeared to be on a hot streak at the meet on the women's side as well, as Jessie Brosch of Rockville-Montgomery notched the only women's Trials standard, seizing the 200 butterfly in 2:15.30, which also broke her own meet record of 2:15.43 from last year.
Rockville-Montgomery's Kassy Kugler showed her sprint prowess with wins in the 50 (27.03) and 100 (58.73) freestyles, while SoNoCo's Kristen Frost showed her heels to the field in the 200 (2:04.67) and 400 (4:22.45).
Fourteen year-old Jamie Marks swept the breaststrokes, winning the 100 in 1:13.05, and the 200 in 2:37.13.
Full results can be found at: http://www.racswim.org/