By Gerry Rodrigues and Phil Whitten
LOS ANGELES, July 15.
WOMEN'S 200m FREESTYLE; CLAUDIA IS BACK1
COSTA Rica's Claudia Poll, the defending Olympic champion, pulled away from Jenny Thompson, the early leader, to win the women's 200 free in 1:58.08–the second fastest time in the world this year and easily the fastest unrested time.
Poll's time sets a meet record, breaking the oldest meet record in the books. The old mark, 2:00.47, was set in 1988 by Claudia's older sister, Sylvia Poll.
Poll's time is also a U.S. Open record–the fastest time ever swum in American waters–besting the 1:58.14 mark set by world record-holder Franziska Van Almsick in leading off Germany's 4 x 200m freestyle relay at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.
Thompson, who led through the first 125 meters was second in 1:59.49, while Dara Torres, who made a late surge was third in 2:00.25. Ellen Stonebreaker, closing fast, was fourth in 2:00.8.
MEN'S 200m FREE: NEETHLING COMES FROM BEHIND
Blaine Morgan, the top qualifier, moved aggressively into the lead at the start, but Bela Szabados, in lane 8, caught him at the turn, Szabados flipping at 25.99 to Morgan's 26.02.
At the 100 it was Szabados, 54.15, followed by Morgan in 54.52, Gustavo Borges in 55.02 and Ryk Neethling, 55.03.
Szabados opened up the lead on the third lap, turning for home in 1:22.87, ahead of Morgan (1:23.37), Borges (1:23.55) and Neethling (1:23.67).
The final lap saw the whole field tighten up with Neethling, the South African, surging from behind to win in 1:50.98, followed by Szabados (1:51.20), Jay Schryver (1:51.80) and Borges (1:52.00). Morgan faded to sixth.
Klete Keller, 21st fastest qualifier at 1:54.1, won the bonus heat in 1:51.73 (55.12 split), the third fastest time overall. Chad Carvin won the consols in 1:52.57 (54.88 split).
WOMEN's 200m BREAST: CAVERLY UPSETS HEYNS
In prelims, Penny Heyns was the only sub-2:30 swimmer at 2:29.95, followed by Kristen Caverly (2:31.98).
In the finals, Heyns jumped to the lead at the 50, 33.81. On the second lap, Stacianna Stitts took over the lead, touching in 1:11.49 to Heyns' 1:12.05.
Both Stitts and Kristen Caverly made their moves on the third lap, and at the 150 it was Stitts with a full second lead at 1:50.41, Heyns 1:51.48, and Caverly 1:51.62.
Coming off the wall, Stitts began to sprint, but with 25 meters to go Heyns caught her. Then, in lane 6, 15-year-old Caverly charged the leaders and touched just ahead of the world record-holder, stealing the race in 2:29.83 to Heyns' 2:29.89. Stitts followed in 2:30.15.
MEN'S 200m BREASTSTROKE: KNABE WINS WITH EASE
Canadian Olympian Morgan Knabe took the lead at the start and just kept lengthening it with every one of his strong smooth strokes.
At the 50 it was Knabe in 31.51, followed by 28-year-old Steve West in 31.87 and Daniel Kim in 32.01.
Knabe touched at the halfway mark in 1:06.13, followed by West (1:07.37) and Jeff Hopwood (1:07.96). On the third 50, Knabe lengthened his lead to over two seconds ahead of West with Hopwood moving up strongly..
The Cnadaian champion powered home to win easily in 2:16.91. Hopwood followed in 2:20.29, with Francisco Suriano third (2:20.74) and West, who had qualified in 2:19.99, fourth in 2:21.30.
WOMEN'S 50m FREESTYLE:DARA EDGES JENNY
In prelims, 33 year-old Dara Torres led the field by half a second with her meet record 25.32. Her arch rival, Amy Van Dyken, qualified second at 25.73, followed by Courtney Allen 25.92, Jenny Thompson (25.98) and B.J. Bedford (26.00). Completing a fast field were Shannon Hosack (26.12), Haley Cope (26.18),
and Catherine Fox (26.30).
In the final, Torres took the lead at the start and fought off a challenge by Amy Van Dyken and Jenny Thompson. Torres touched in 25.04, followed by Jenny Thompson, 25.22; Van Dyken, 25.32; Cope, 25.64; Fox, 25.70; Allen 25.84; Bedford, 25.98, and Hosack, 26.08.
In the bonus final, 14 year-old Courtney Cashion of Nova, the 24th fastest prelim swimmer (27.02)swimming in lane 8, won in 26.47. Ashley Tappin won the consols, 26.02, followed by Liesl Kolbisen, 26.08.
MEN's 50m FREESTYLE:EARVIN NIPS KIZIEROWSKI
In prelims, Phoenix Swim Club qualified first, second and third, with Polish Olympian Bart Kizierowski top qualifier in 22.40, just off his lifetime best, followed by short course WR-holder Anthony Earvin (22.63) and a rejuvenated Gary Hall (22.94). The rest of the field included Ricky Busquets (23.04), Roland Schoeman. former short course WR-holder (23.15); Alan Murray (23.23); Jason Lezak (23.27) and Sabir Muhammad (23.35).
In the finals, Kizierowski jumped into the lead on the start, but Earvin kept gaining. At the wall it was a Phoenix sweep: Earvin, 22.30, a lifetime best; Kizierowski, 22.32, a lifetime best; and Hall, 22.63. Lezak and Muhammad tied for fourth in 22.84. The top seven finishers all cracked 23 seconds.
The bonus final was won by Julio Santos in 23.39.
Matt Macedo took consols in 23.15, with Jon Olsen (23.22) and Byron Davis (23.42) right behind.
WOMEN'S 400m INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY: MALAR BREEZES
In th morning prelims, only a quarter of a second separated the top three qualifiers. Canadian Olympian, Joanne Malar, led the way (4:49.25) followed by Kristen Caverly (4:49.40), who won the 200 breast only moments before, and Kaitlin Sandeno (4:49.49). Kristine Quance-Julian was sixth fastest (4:54.54).
In the finals, Quance-Julian, breathing every stroke, took the early lead, touching in 1:04.79 for the fly, followed by Malar, 1:05.31, and Sandeno,1:05.46.
At the halfway mark, Sandeno touched in 2:18.8, with Malar, 2:19.00, and Quance, 2:20.88, close behind. Caverly moved into fourth at 2:21.77.
Stroking strongly and smoothly, Malar moved away from breaststrokers Sandeno, Caverly and Quance-Julian, turning at 300 meters in 3:38.,26, followed by Sandeno 3:40.55, Caverly 3:41.01.
Malar easily fended off a Sandeno challenge on the final leg, increasing her lead to win in a very solid 4:41.71. Sandeno was second in 4:45.63 with Caverly third, 4:47.54. Quance-Julian faded to sixth (4:52.76).
MEN'S 400m INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY: CANADA'S MYDEN WINS
Only four swimmers cracked 4:30 in prelims, with Ocean State Squid, Erik Vendt, leading the way (4:27.33) followed by 1500-meter ace Tyler Painter (4:28.54). Canada's Curtis Myden, the favorite, qualified third (4:29.00) with Carl Larsen fourth (4:29.71).
In the evening, Larsen took the immediate lead, but a powerful-stroking Myden was first at the first 50. At the 100 Myden had opened up more than a body length lead, touching in 58.49 with Veloz (59.74) second and Vendt in the pack (1:01.09).
Vendt began to close in the backstroke, but it was Myden (2:05.78)followed by Vendt (2:07.29), Veloz (2:08.58) and Painter (2:09.29) at the halfway point.
Vendt continued to close in the breaststroke, with Myden touching at the 300 in 4:22.79, followed by Vendt (4:23.84) and Painter (4:28.03.)
On the final leg, Myden moved to the other side of his lane to keep Vendt from drafting off him. The Canadian touched home in 4:22.60, completing a Canadian sweep of the medley. Vendt was 4:23.32 and Painter 4:28.89.