Malchow flirts with 200 fly mark

Posted: Friday, August 11, 2000

INDIANAPOLIS -- Tom Malchow flirted with lowering his world record in the 200-meter butterfly preliminaries Friday at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials.

Wearing a body suit with only his arms exposed, Malchow was a half-second under world record pace at 150 meters before slowing slightly to win in 1 minute, 55.67 seconds.

Malchow's time was good enough to erase the trials record of 1:55.72 set by Mel Stewart in 1992.

Malchow, the '96 Olympic silver medalist, set the world and American record of 1:55.18 in June at a meet in Charlotte, N.C.

Michael Phelps, a 15-year-old from Baltimore, qualified second in 1:58.61 and Jeff Somensatto of Annadale, Va., was third. The top 16 advanced to Friday night's semifinals, where the top eight will make Saturday's final.

The only one of the five Alaskans at the Olympic Trials to see action today was former Dimond High School and University of Washington swimmer Robert Roosa of Anchorage. Roosa took 55th place out of 94 swimmers in the 200 butterfly preliminaries with a time of 2:04.97.

None of the five Alaskan swimmers saw action Thursday, and the only one who will swim Saturday is Derek Gibb of Petersburg and Juneau. Gibb, a 1999 Petersburg High graduate whose family just moved to Juneau, will swim in the 100-meter freestyle.

Samantha Arsenault, an 18year-old from Peabody, Mass., with limited international experience, clocked 2:00.08 to lead 16 qualifiers in the 200 free prelims. Lindsay Benko, a former Southern California swimmer, was second in 2:00.11.

Dara Torres, the first American to make four Olympic teams after finishing second in the 100 fly Thursday night, qualified fifth for Friday night's semifinals.

She'll be joined by Cristina Teuscher; Diana Munz, who won the 400 free Thursday night; and Brooke Bennett, second to Munz in the 400 free.

Tom Dolan swam a furious freestyle leg to win the 400 individual medley Thursday night and put himself in position to defend his '96 Olympic title.

Swimming his strongest stroke for the final 100 meters, Dolan overtook Erik Vendt and Tom Wilkens in a thrilling finish.

Checking his time of 4 minutes, 13.72 seconds on the scoreboard, Dolan punched the water defiantly and tore off his goggles, having turned away another challenge to his 400 IM dominance that began with setting the world record in 1994.

``You can put anyone you want in front of me in the final 100, and they better pray pretty hard I'm not reeling them in coming home,'' he said. ``I knew I could still bring it home better than anyone else in the world.''

Ed Moses, meanwhile, gulped down a cup of coffee 30 minutes before setting an American record in the 100 breaststroke and winning an Olympic berth two years after returning full time to his childhood sport.

Also Thursday night, Jenny Thompson defeated rival Dara Torres in the 100 butterfly final, while 18-year-old Munz made her first Olympic team in the 400 freestyle on the second night of the trials.

In the 400 IM, Wilkens had a half-second lead at 300 meters after his specialty, the breaststroke. But Wilkens faded on the freestyle as Dolan held off a hard-charging Vendt, of North Easton, Mass., who earned the other Olympic berth in 4:13.89.

``I always do it the hard way,'' Dolan said. ``It's been a long time coming. That's the most emotion I've had in swimming in a long time.''

Moses, of Burke, Va., tossed back coffee and then gulped an antacid to soothe his churning stomach before setting the American record of 1:00.44 in the 100 breaststroke, breaking Jeremy Linn's mark of 1:00.77 set at the 1996 Olympics.

Pat Calhoun of Auburn, Ala., claimed the other Olympic berth at 1:01.09.

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