Sunday, December 07, 2008

Mary DeScenza Breaks Two Championship Records on Final Night of the 2008 ConocoPhillips USA Swimming Short Course National Championships

ATLANTA, TEXAS (December 7, 2008) Mary DeScenza (Naperville, Ill.) set two Championship records Saturday on the final night of competition at the 2008 ConocoPhillips USA Swimming Short Course Nationals Championships. DeScenza won both the 200y back and 200y fly to claim a total of five short course national titles, the most of any swimmer competing in the meet.

DeScenza and 2008 Olympic gold medalist Ryan Lochte (Daytona Beach, Fla.) took home top honors at the meet, winning the women’s and men’s high point award, respectively. The 2008 ConocoPhillips USA Swimming Short Course Nationals Performance award went to Dagny Knutson, who set an American record Friday night in the women’s 400y IM.

DeScenza’s first win of the night came in the women’s 200y back when she swam a Championship-record time of 1:51:58. Julianne McLane (Concord, Calif.) was second in 1:53.52 and Teresa Crippen (Conshohocken, Pa.) was third in 1:55.55. DeScenza’s second win of the evening and fifth win of the meet was in the 200y fly. DeScenza won the event in 1:52.48, a new Championship record. Ava Ohlgren (Northville, Mich.) was second in 1:56.01 and Yumi So (Pasadena, Calif.) finished third with a time of 1:56.63.

Two-time Olympian Lochte placed first in the men’s 200y back with a time of 1:38.49. Lochte, who already owned the American record in the event, earned his fourth gold medal of the meet with the victory. Tyler Clary (Riverside, Calif.), who was fourth after the first 100 yards, had a strong second half to take the second-place spot in 1:40.85. Great Britain’s Andrew Hogson finished third in 1:41.99.

In the men’s 100y free, William Copeland (Lexington, Va.) took an early lead at after the first 50 yards and managed to hold off the field for the win in 41.75, a new Championship record. Olympic gold medalist Matt Grevers (Lake Forest, Ill.) placed second in 41.85 and Australia’s Matt Targett was third in 41.93.

Georgia native and 2004 Olympian Amanda Weir (Lawrenceville, Ga.) claimed the top spot in the women’s 100y free with a time of 47.15. She was followed by Dagny Knutson (Minot, N.D.), who placed second with a time of 47.80. Tanica Jamison (Dublin, Calif.) was third in 49.03.

Ariana Kukors (Auburn, Wash.) took home her first win of the meet with a strong swim in the women’s 200y breast. Kukors took the lead in the second 50, and held on to it throughout the race to finish in 2:08.33. Christine Olson (Phoenix, Ariz.) placed second in 2:10.02 and Ashley Danner (Springfield, Va.) was third in 2:10.06.

Mike Alexandrov (Evanston, Ill.) placed first in the men’s 200y breast. Alexandrov, who won the men’s 100y breast Friday night, set a Championship record with his time of 1:51.96. Eric Shanteau (Lilburn, Ga.), a 2008 Olympian, was second in 1:52.27 and Bart Steninger (Elko, Nev.) rounded out the top three with a time of 1:55.38.

In other races Saturday night, Matt Patton (Charlotte, N.C.) took the top spot in the men’s 1650y free with a time of 14:50.34. Randall Mark (Tuscaloosa, Ala.) was second in 15:00.83 and Jason Taylor (Plant City, Fla.) was third in 15:07.05. In the women’s 1650y free, Laurabeth Guenthner (Wellington, Fla.) was first in 16:07.80, Amanda Smith (Cincinnati, Ohio) was second in 16:11.33 and Maggie Bird (Muncie, Ind.) was third in 16:13.63. In the final event of the night, the men’s 200y fly, Japan’s Hidemasa Sano finished first in 1:41.07 to set a Championship record. Ian Powell (Tallahassee, Fla.) claimed the second-place spot in 1:44.29 and Dan Madwed was third (Towson, Md.) in 1:44.59.

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