SANTA CLARA, June 25. COMEBACK queen Dara Torres capped a fabulous weekend at the Cadillac Challenge Swim Series in Santa Clara by smashing the American record in the women's 50 meter freestyle. Torres, 33, clocked 24.73 seconds, obliterating the mark of 24.87 set by Amy Van Dyken in winning the event at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. Torres now ranks second in the world this year, trailing only Holland's Inge De Bruijn, who set a world record of 24.39 earlier in June.
Van Dyken finished second in a solid 25.41, showing she is well on her way to recovery after two shoulder surgeries. Three other women cracked 26 seconds: Ashley Tappin and Keiko Price at 25.93 and Catherine Fox at 25.99.
Misty Hyman charged back from a disappointing swim in the 100 fly to win the 200 in 2:09.68, the fastest time by an American this year and the fifth fastest in the world. Hyman's Stanford teammate Shelly Ripple was second in 2:11.99. Striking a blow for the Masters crowd, 35-year-old Angie Wester-Krieg finished fifth in 2:17.47.
Two foreign swimmers–Canada's Marianne Limpert and Australia's Elli Overton–waged a tight battle in the 200 IM, with Limpert out-touching her Commonwealth rival, 2:15.42 to 2:15.48.
Jamaica's Janelle Atkinson completed her sweep on the distance events, taking the 800 free in 8:35.73, while Japan's Reiko Nakamura won the 200 back in 2:13.11. Curl-Burke easily won the 400 medley relay (4:22.61).
Santa Clara's Tom Wilkens was a double winner on the final day of competition, taking the 200 IM in 2:05.05 and just edging a hard-charging Kyle Salyards in the 200 breast, 2:16.48 to 2:16.57. Ed Moses, the short course world record-holder, was sixth (2:20.86), while Kurt Grote, the 1998 world champion who is still plagued by knee injuries, was eleventh (2:23.98).
Sion Brinn won the 100 free in 51.14; Randall Ball beat out Tate Blahnik in the 100 back, 56.69 to 56.98, and Robert Margalis took the 1500 free (15:31.07). Canada's Pacific Dolphins won the 400 medley relay (3:46.92).