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By David Rieder
CHARLOTTE, North Carolina, May 14. THE second day of swimming at the Charlotte UltraSwim featured some blazing times by members of the U.S. National team, led by Trojan's Rebecca Soni. Soni posted a meet record in the 100 breast and the second-fastest time in the world. Meanwhile, superstar Michael Phelps of North Baltimore doubled with wins in the 200 free and 100 fly.
Women's 200 Free
A.S.K.'s Dagny Knutson's went out quickly and held on to beat a strong field and grab the first title of the night, recording a time of 1:57.83, just a tenth off her personal best 1:57.73 recorded at last year's Junior Pan Pacs. The time moves her to sixth in the world, ahead of China's Tang Yi but behind Hungary's Agnes Mutina. Knutson, who recently decided that she is decommitting from Auburn University, finished 2.5 seconds ahead of Mission Viejo's Chloe Sutton, who clocked 2:00.24, just ahead of Canada National Center's Barbara Jardin (2:00.42) and Colorado Stars' Missy Franklin (2:00.45).
Men's 200 Free
After qualifying seventh in prelims, it looked like Olympic Champion Michael Phelps could have a problem holding off a strong field in one of his signature events. However, Phelps, representing North Baltimore, went out fast from lane one, despite what he called a "terrible" last 50, winning by just .04 over Club Wolverine's Peter Vanderkaay, who took the 1500 last night. Phelps and Vanderkaay clocked times of 1:47.73 and 1:47.77, respectively, times that rank them 11th and 12th in the world, respectively. The four members of the American's gold-medal 800 free relay from the Olympics claimed the top four spots, as Daytona Beach's Ryan Lochte touched out Longhorn's Ricky Berens for third, 1:49.05 to 1:49.09
Women's 100 Breast
Trojan's Rebecca Soni blew away the field in one of her signature events. Off a split of 30.98, Soni posted a time of 1:05.90, improving on her second-place in the world rankings for this year. Only Leisel Jones is ahead with a 1:05.79 from Australian Nationals in March. SwimMAC's Justine Mueller finished nearly three seconds behind in a time of 1:08.66, while Corrie Clark was third in 1:09.63, rounding out the sub-1:10 swims.
Men's 100 Breast
Austria's Hunor Mate touched out Longhorn's Eric Shanteau for the sprint breaststroke win, 1:01.66 to 1:01.69. Mate was well behind Shanteau and Auburn's Mark Gangloff, who recorded 50-splits of 28.98, to Mate's 29.71, but Mate closed in 32.06 to take the title. Meanwhile, Gangloff faded to third, clocking a time of 1:01.97.
Women's 100 Fly
California's Natalie Coughlin dominated the sprint butterfly, posting a top time of 58.46, the seventh best time in the world, moving just behind her teammate Dana Vollmer's 58.42 from the Austin Grand Prix. North Baltimore's Felicia Lee posted the only other sub-1:00 time, with a 59.99, while, SwimMAC's Lauren Smart was third in 1:00.32.
Men's 100 Fly
North Baltimore's Michael Phelps, the world record-holder, backed up from the 200 free for his second win of the night, posting a time of 52.41, the eighth-fastest time in the world. World championships finalist Tyler McGill of Auburn was the closest to Phelps, clocking a time of 53.15, which puts him into the top 25 in the world. Meanwhile, Ohio State's Timothy Phillips was third in 53.91, while Longhorn's Ricky Berens, also backing up from the 200 free, was fourth in 54.31. Notably, SwimMAC's Eugene Godsoe posted a 54.11 for a dominating B-final win.
Women's 400 IM
Bluefish's Elizabeth Beisel grabbed hold of the race during the backstroke and opened up a huge lead on the breaststroke and freestyle legs, posting a winning time of 4:39.32, which moves her up to ninth in the world this year. A.S.K.'s Dagny Knutson led after the butterfly but faded back and ended up second with a time of 4:44.51, ahead of SwimMAC's Justine Mueller, who posted a time of 4:48.78. Meanwhile, 100 breast winner Rebecca Soni of Trojan clocked a sixth-place time of 4:52.30.
Men's 400 IM
North Baltimore's Todd Patrick ran away with the title in the longer medley, clocking a time of 4:22.96. Patrick finished almost five seconds ahead of second-place Alex Vanderkaay of Club Wolverine, who clocked 4:27.82, just out-touching Carlos Omana of Metro Miami, who posted a 4:27.95 for third.
400 Free Relays
Canada National Center's team of Victoria Poon, Sandrine Mainville, Barbara Jardin, and Genevieve Samur claimed the women's 400 free relay in a time of 3:46.99 ahead of a Missy Franklin-led Colorado Stars team. In the men's relay, Club Wolverine's team of Bobby Savulich, Wu Peng, Matt Patton and Peter Vanderkaay took the win in 3:25.29, bolstered by Vanderkaay's 49.96 anchor split, while SwimMAC, anchored by Cullen Jones who split 50.27, finished just behind.