USA Swimming Grand Prix, Austin: Fred Bousquet Sets U.S. Open Record, Yannick Lebherz Breaks German Record

AUSTIN, Texas, March 5. THE first night of swimming at the USA Swimming Grand Prix held in Austin, Texas came to a close. While prelims were swum in short course yards, finals competition are taking place in long course meters.

With subplots like Katie Hoff and Dagny Knutson facing off for the first time and Mary DeScenza's quest for the Grand Prix crown, it would take something big to knock those off as the main storylines.

Fred Bousquet of Auburn did just that with a smoking fast time in the 50 free to set the U.S. Open record. Meanwhile, Yannick Lebherz posted a German record during the evening.

Also, Dara Torres reminded everyone that she's a threat anytime she feels like jumping in the water, no matter how many nagging injuries she's battling.

Women's 200 free relay
Longhorn's foursome of Tanica Jamison, Samantha Tucker, Camille Hendrix and Krista Kezbers topped the event with a time of 1:45.25, while North Coast's Jessica Schmitt, Mikkel-ane Stipe, Monica Dornick and Katie Thompson took second in 1:48.86. Longhorn's B team of Jessica Gardner, Nadia El-Hamdi, Meng Huang and Erin Flanigan placed third in 1:50.06.

Men's 200 free relay
SMU's quartet of Thomas Fadnes, Luka Vrtovec, Robin Andreasson and Walter Rumans pocketed the win in 1:29.98. Germany's Johannes Dietrich, Benjamin Bilski, Felix Wolf and Yannick Lebherz took second in 1:32.91, while teammates Peter Wienke, Christian Kuhbusch, Martin Beutel and Christian Diener finished third in 1:36.59.

Women's 400 free
In their first true head-to-head showdown since Minot's Dagny Knutson, 17, ascended into the role of swimming prodigy that Olympian Katie Hoff of North Baltimore once held in the U.S., the veteran proved that experience and motivation count. Hoff scorched the middle distance event with a winning time of 4:07.28. Knutson, meanwhile, claimed second in 4:12.95. Another young phenom captured third in the event as La Mirada's Samantha Shellem, 16, took third in 4:13.84. Olympian Elizabeth Beisel, 16, wound up fourth in 4:17.71 swimming for Bluefish.

Women's 100 fly
Overall Grand Prix points leader Mary DeScenza of Athens Bulldog kept the momentum rolling towards the $20,000 grand prize at the end of the series with another victory. This time, she was the loan swimmer to clear 1:00 in the 100 fly with a swift time of 58.91. Meanwhile, Whitney Myers of Tucson Ford snatched second-place honors in 1:00.14, while Alex Forrester, 17, of Bluefish raced to third in 1:00.37.

Men's 100 fly
Tucson Ford demonstrated some dominance in the men's 100 fly with a 1-2 finish. Masayuki Kishida ran away with the title in 52.44, while teammate Albert Subirats captured second in 53.10. Tennessee's Davis Tarwater rounded out the top three in 53.43.

Men's 400 free
Club Wolverine's Peter Vanderkaay put a charge into the U.S. Open standard but fell a second-and-a-half short with a victorious time of 3:45.21. The performance missed the 3:43.53 set by Larsen Jensen at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials in Omaha. Germany's Christian Kuhbusch placed a distant second in 3:49.80, while Ryan Harrison completed the podium with a time of 3:55.97.

"I didn't know I was under American-record pace," Vanderkaay told USA Swimming. "I just wanted to see what I could do. This is my third meet long course this season. I took the longest break I've ever taken in my life after Beijing. I'm refreshed and ready to go now."

Women's 200 IM
An IM specialist, Tucson Ford's Whitney Myers showed off her wares in the shorter distance medley when she clocked a 2:14.05 for the win. Elizabeth Beisel of Bluefish won a three-way battle for second with a time of 2:15.07 as she touched out Athens Bulldog Mary DeScenza (2:15.12) and Minot's Dagny Knutson (2:15.13).

Men's 200 IM
Germany's Yannick Lebherz clocked a national record with a swift time of 2:00.09. The effort beat the 2:00.47 set by Kamil Kasprowicz back in 2007. Alex Vanderkaay clocked a 2:01.99 to take second for Club Wolverine, while Tucson Ford's Adam Ritter claimed third in 2:03.03.

Women's 50 free
Dara Torres of Coral Springs continued to show that age, and multiple offseason surgeries, just don't phase her much. She crushed the women's splash-and-dash competition with a strong time of 24.91 after clocking a 21.64 in the yard prelim to move into the top 10 all time in the short course yard version of the swim. Jackie Vavrek claimed a touch-out finish over Athens Bulldog Kara Lynn Joyce for second, 25.46 to 25.48.

"I'm not really sure how long I will go," Torres told USA Swimming. "I am enjoying being back in the water and racing these kids."

Men's 50 free
Auburn's Fred Bousquet set a U.S. Open record in the men's splash-and-dash with a sparkling time of 21.44. The swim scared Amaury Leveaux's French record of 21.38 set in April of last year. Auburn proved its sprint superiority by sweeping the podium as George Bovell clocked a 22.01 for second and Cesar Cielo placed third in 22.08. Both Bousquet and Bovell shined during yard prelims as Bousquet qualified in 18.75 and Bovell joined the 18 club with an 18.98.

Women's 400 medley relay
Bluefish's Elizabeth Beisel, Laura Sogar, Alex Forrester and Alex Frasier grabbed the win in 4:15.46, while Longhorn's Ruthie Norval, Koryn Ternes, Krista Kezbers and Samantha Tucker placed second in 4:23.35. Germany's Eileen Diener, Cathleen Rund, Ramona Siebmayer and Cynthia Walter wound up third in 4:29.48.

Men's 400 medley relay
Tucson Ford's Albert Subirats, Bart Steninger, Masayuki Kishida and Adam Ritter claimed the title in 3:44.39, while Mexico's Miguel Robles Castro, David Oliver Mercado, Hinojoza Navarrete and Rodrigo Friscione Wyssmann took second in 3:52.48. Germany's Christian Diener, Yannick Lebherz, Martin Beutel and Peter Wienke rounded out the top three in 3:56.86.