USA Swimming Grand Prix, Missouri: Day Four Finals; Erik Vendt Sets 1500 U.S. Open Mark

COLUMBIA, Missouri, February 18. SO far, so so so good! That's the theme of the Missouri Grand Prix thus far this year. With two world records already on the board, there were a few close calls but no more world records were in the offering.

Erik Vendt did, however, post a U.S. Open mark in the 1500 free to end the day of individual events.

Women's 800 free
With her eyes on Wu Yanyan's 200 IM world record later today, Katie Hoff gave Janet Evans' 800 freestyle mark a break by cruising to victory in the event with a winning effort of 8:27.32. The time is the best in the world this year, ahead of Kate Ziegler's 8:28.66 set last month, but well off Hoff's best time of 8:22.80.

The performance did, however, crush Kalyn Keller's facility standard of 8:39.43 set last year at this meet.

Open water star Chloe Sutton came ever so close to breaking her career-best time in the event with a second-place time of 8:40.55. Her personal-best readout still stands at 8:40.04 set at the 2007 Junior National Championships.

Jessica Rodriquez, meanwhile, placed third in 8:44.72 to complete the top three in the race.

Women's 100 fly
Rachel Komisarz took a serious run at Natalie Coughlin's American record in the women's 100 fly when she clocked a time of 57.92 to win the race. While she came up short of Coughlin's 57.34 set at the World Championships in Melbourne, Komisarz did clip her own pool record of 57.96 set last year at this meet.

Komisarz came pretty close to dropping her personal-best time, as well, with her top time coming with a 57.60 set in December.

Mary DeScenza pocketed second-place in the event with a time of 59.08, while Dana Kirk placed third in 59.34. Kim Vandenberg joined the top trio under 1:00 with a fourth-place 59.45.

Morning Finals Impact
1. Rachel Komisarz; 57.92; 59.67; Faster
2. Mary DeScenza; 59.08; 1:00.15; Faster
3. Dana Kirk; 59.34; 1:00.28; Faster
4. Kim Vandenberg; 59.45; 59.41; Slower
5. Felicia Lee; 1:00.05; 1:00.42; Faster
6. Whitney Lopus; 1:00.41; 1:00.52; Faster
7. Jacque Fessel; 1:00.85; 1:01.21; Faster
8. Whitney Myers; 1:01.83; 1:01.14; Slower

Men's 100 fly
Superstar Michael Phelps continued to show signs of a potentially historic meet at the 2008 Beijing Games as he routinely lowered his best times clocked at this meet a year ago. He did it again with a pool-record time of 51.52, destroying his facility standard of 52.33 set last year.

He touched almost a half-second ahead of world-record holder Ian Crocker, who placed second in 52.00.

Brazilian Kaio Almeida completed the top three with a time of 52.60, just touching out fourth-place finisher Lyndon Ferns (52.69).

Morning Finals Impact
1. Michael Phelps; 51.51; 52.66; Faster
2. Ian Crocker; 52.00; 52.10; Faster
3. Kaio Almeida; 52.60; 53.43; Faster
4. Lyndon Ferns; 52.69; 53.37; Faster
5. Davis Tarwater; 53.28; 53.25; Slower
6. Matt Grevers; 53.34; 53.63; Faster
7. Masayu Kishida; 53.43; 53.42; Slower
8. Peter Verhoef; 54.17; 54.05; Slower

Women's 100 back
If it weren't for Natalie Coughlin setting the bar even lower during prelims last night with a world record race of 59.21, we'd be talking about just how close Kirsty Coventry came to claiming both backstroke world records in one weekend.

Notably, Coughlin scratched from today's finals due to prior commitments.

Coventry came within .03 seconds of the previous standard set by Coughlin at Worlds in Melbourne last year with a 59.44. Coventry closed out the event with a winning effort of 59.47, going out in 28.95 and coming home in 30.52. The performance did, however, drop Coventry's African and national record time of 59.61 set during prelims. She also strengthened her mark as the second-swiftest swimmer in the event.

Haley McGregory completed a strong weekend of swimming with a second-place finish of 1:00.22, while Mary DeScenza finished with a third-place 1:01.11.

Morning Finals Impact
1. Kirsty Coventry; 59.47; 59.61; Faster
2. Haley McGregory; 1:00.22; 1:00.31; Faster
3. Mary DeScenza; 1:01.11; 1:01.79; Faster
4. Leila Vaziri; 1:01.24; 1:00.86; Slower
5. Margaret Hoelzer; 1:01.55; 1:02.67; Faster
6. Elizabeth Wycliffe; 1:02.36; 1:02.25; Slower
7. Rachel Goh; 1:02.58; 1:03.24; Faster
8. Jacque Fessel; 1:03.71; 1:03.01; Slower

Men's 100 back
In a head-to-head battle, Aaron Peirsol gave Michael Phelps a rare touch-out loss. Usually, Phelps has the uncanny ability of getting to the wall first in the tight battles, but Peirsol touched him out, 53.56 to 53.70, in Peirsol's pet event.

The first man under 53, Peirsol demolished his previous pool record of 54.29 set last year.

Phelps, meanwhile, came within a second of his personal-best time of 53.01 set last summer during the national championships.

The rapidly improving David Cromwell, who will be making a push for an Olympic bid in a deep U.S. event, took third in 54.40.

Morning Finals Impact
1. Aaron Peirsol; 53.56; 55.89; Faster
2. Michael Phelps; 53.70; 54.29; Faster
3. David Cromwell; 54.40; 55.83; Faster
4. Peter Marshall; 55.28; 55.22; Slower
5. Adam Mania; 55.29; 56.02; Faster
6. Ryan Lochte; 55.44; 56.25; Faster
7. Guy Barnea; 55.95; 56.09; Faster
8. Doug Van Wie; 56.04; 56.12; Faster

Women's 100 breast
After lowering the pool record with a stellar time of 1:06.66 during prelims last night, Tara Kirk didn't have more left in the tank as she settled for a gold-medal winning time of 1:07.25.

She held off American-record holder Jessica Hardy, who placed second in 1:07.89. Meanwhile, Keri Hehn claimed a distant third place in 1:09.50.

Morning Finals Impact
1. Tara Kirk; 1:07.25; 1:06.66; Slower
2. Jessica Hardy; 1:07.89; 1:07.81; Slower
3. Keri Hehn; 1:09.50; 1:08.63; Slower
4. Lindsay Payne; 1:09.88; 1:10.86; Faster
5. Vipa Bernhardt; 1:09.95; 1:10.63; Faster
6. Elizabeth Tinnon; 1:10.26; 1:08.98; Slower
7. Anne Poleska; 1:10.77; 1:11.23; Faster
8. Amanda Beard; 1:10.83; 1;10.56; Slower

Men's 100 breast
World-record holder Brendan Hansen touched with one of the fastest times in the world this year when he clocked a 1:00.85, breaking the pool record of 1:01.69 he shared with Mark Gangloff during prelims last night. The duo nipped the 1:01.75 set by Kevin Swander last year.

Gangloff, meanwhile, picked up second place in a time of 1:01.24, while Scott Usher snared third in 1:01.46.

Morning Finals Impact
1. Brendan Hansen; 1:00.85; 1:01.69; Faster
2. Mark Gangloff; 1:01.24; 1:01.69; Faster
3. Scott Usher; 1:01.46; 1:01.79; Faster
4. Henrique Barbosa; 1:02.18; 1:02.25; Faster
5. Vlad Polyakov; 1:02.28; 1:02.81; Faster
6. Michael Phelps; 1:02.57; 1:02.77; Faster
7. Adam Ritter; 1:02.91; 1:02.97; Faster
8. Darren Mew; 1:03.73; 1:03.05; Slower

Women's 200 IM
In a bit of an upset, as many across the swimming community expected Katie Hoff to clear the drug-tainted world record of Wu Yanyan after posting a 2:10.91 during prelims, Kirsty Coventry emerged with the victory and moved into third all-time in the event.

Coventry, who already grabbed the 200 back global standard this weekend, ripped off an African and Zimbabwe record time of 2:10.08 in a mild upset of Hoff. The performance came short of Hoff's U.S. open time of 2:10.05, but erased the 2:10.91 pool record set by Hoff last night.

Hoff, meanwhile, checked in with another 2:10 readout, this time with a second-place effort of 2:10.23 – still an incredibly fast time. Talk about a fun battle to witness, and Caitlin Leverenz had the best seat in the house with a third-place 2:14.19.

Morning Finals Impact
1. Kirsty Coventry; 2:10.08; 2:12.11; Faster
2. Katie Hoff; 2:10.23; 2:10.91; Faster
3. Caitlin Leverenz; 2:14.19; 2:17.92; Faster
4. Jessica Rodriquez; 2:15.77; 2:15.97; Faster
5. Kim Vandenberg; 2:16.89; 2:16.48; Slower
6. Felicia Lee; 2:17.05; 2:16.54; Slower
7. Julie Stupp; 2:20.21; 2:18.13; Slower
8. Whitney Myers; 2:20.61; 2:19.03; Slower

Men's 200 IM
Thiago Pereira emerged triumphant from the shorter medley with a time of 2:00.24 as he threatened his pool record of 1:59.19 set last year.

Tamas Kerekjarto placed second in 2:01.92, while Jeremy Knowles touched a distant third in 2:04.31.

Morning Finals Impact
1. Thiago Pereira; 2:00.24; 2:04.75; Faster
2. Tamas Kerekjarto; 2:01.92; 2:02.36; Faster
3. Jeremy Knowles; 2:04.31; 2:05.16; Faster
4. Pat Mellors; 2:04.44; 2:04.55; Faster
5. Dan Madwed; 2:04.46; 2:04.78; Faster
6. Lewis Smith; 2:06.72; 2:06.35; Slower
7. Masayu Kishida; 2:08.36; 2:08.21, Slower
8. Adam Ritter; 2:10.36; 2:07.19; Slower

Men's 1500 free
Erik Vendt cut nearly 10 seconds from his previous personal best time of 14:57.01 set at last summer's U.S. national championships with a winning effort of 14:47.59 in the first heat of the distance event today.

With the swim, Vendt became the second-fastest American in the event, now ahead of Chris Thompson's 14:56.81. Vendt came within two seconds of Larsen Jensen's national record time of 14:45.29 set in 2004.

He also cleared the U.S. Open standard of 14:48.34 previously set by Grant Hackett in 2003, and also obliterated the pool record of 15:27.81 set by Chad La Tourette last year.

La Tourette wound up taking second place in 15:03.59, while Fran Crippen placed third in 15:20.74.

Relays
Sun Devil Aquatics' team of Ashley Brewer, Katie Olsen, Emily Barton and Haley Krakoski won the women's 400 medley relay in 4:20.55, while a team made up from the Santa Clara Swim Club (relay members were not disclosed) set the pool record with a 3:52.33 in the men's 400 medley relay.

Katie Hoff at 2008 Missouri Grand Prix

Rachel Komisarz at 2008 Missouri Grand Prix

Michael Phelps at 2008 Missouri Grand Prix

Kim Vandenberg at 2008 Missouri Grand Prix

Erik Vendt at 2008 Missouri Grand Prix

Michael Phelps and Mark Schubert cheer on Erik Vendt at 2008 Missouri Grand Prix

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Author: Archive Team

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