Saturday, December 17, 2011

Team USA Wins 2011 Mutual of Omaha Dual in the Pool

Three American records fall on the final night of competition

ATLANTA, GEORGIA (December 17, 2011) Team USA took home the overall team title Saturday afternoon at the 2011 Mutual of Omaha Duel in the Pool. The dual meet, taking place at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center, saw three American records fall today, one in the women’s 4x100m free relay and the others in the men’s and women’s 200m butterfly. The final team score was Team USA - 181.5 to the European All–Stars – 80.5.

Team USA set American records in both portions of the 200m fly. In her hometown Kathleen Hersey (Atlanta, Ga.) went 2:03.49, nearly a second faster than the old record, which was a 2:04.26 held by Elaine Breeden (Lexington, Ky.). Breeden finished second to Hersey in this event with a 2:04.98 and Sweden’s Martina Granstroem came in third at 2:06.08.

Hungary’s Laszlo Cseh got on the medal stand as he finished the 200m fly in 1:51.18. Davis Tarwater (Knoxville, Tenn.) touched the wall with an American record time of 1:51.90. Hungary placed another on the stand as Bence Biczo took bronze in 1:55.26.
The women’s 4x100m free relay was won by the European Team with a time of 3:27.53. The time, which would have broken the world record, did not count as a record as the swimmers on the relay do not all represent the same country. The U.S. Team of Natalie Coughlin (Vallejo, Calif.), Jessica Hardy (Long Beach, Calif.), Dana Vollmer (Granbury, Texas) and Missy Franklin (Centennial, Colo.) finished second in 3:28.46 to set an American record in the event.
The U.S. men came from behind in the final 50 meters of the 4x100m free relay to win in 3:07.22. The team of Matt Grevers (Lake Forest, Ill.), Garrett Weber-Gale (Milwaukee, Wis.), Nick Brunelli (Mansfield, Mass.) and Ricky Berens (Charlotte, N.C.) beat the European All-Stars, who finished in 3:07.98. Berens’ strong anchor leg put the U.S. Team ahead of the Europeans for the win in the final event of the competition.
Just as the U.S. swept the opening races on Friday night, the E-Stars did the same today with wins in the women’s and men’s 800m free. Denmark’s Lotte Friis won for the women’s in 8:04.77, just .24 seconds off the world record pace. Chloe Sutton (Mission Viejo, Calif.) and Great Britain’s Grainne Murphy went second and third, respectively, with 8:14.29 and 8:18.03 swims. Pal Joensen from Faroe Islands won for the men in 7:36.24. Michael Klueh (Evansville, Ind.) came in second with 7:39.90 and Denmark’s Mads Glaesner was third in 7:42.27.

The women’s 200m free saw the first all-U.S. podium as Missy Franklin took the heat in 1:53.19. Dana Vollmer stayed close to Franklin all race as she came in second with a 1:53.92. Katie Hoff (Towson, Md.) helped the Americans finish the medal stand sweep coming in third at 1:54.24.

Berens, Matt McLean (Sterling, Va.) and Conor Dwyer (Winnetka, Ill.) won gold, silver and bronze, respectively, for the U.S. in the 200m free. It was the second straight medal sweep by the Americans. Berens swam a 1:42.48 – the second fastest time in the world this year – as McLean went 1:44.26 and Dwyer went 1:44.45.

Jessica Hardy (Long Beach, Calif.) won the women’s 100m breast with the fastest swim of the year, a 1:03.33. Trojan teammate Rebecca Soni (Plainsboro, N.J.) comes in second in 1:04.53 and Denmark’s Rikke Pedersen finished third at 1:05.50.

Brendan Hansen (Havertown, Pa.) swept both the men’s breaststroke events at the Duel in the Pool with a win in the 100m distance Saturday. Hansen touched the wall in 57.47 as Hungary’s Daniel Gyurta was close behind in 57.62. U.S. teammate Michael Alexandrov (Champaign, Ill.) rounded out the podium with a 57.81.

The European women swept the 50m free with Marleen Veldhuis of the Netherlands winning in 23.43. Ranomi Kromowidjojo, also of the Netherlands, was second in 23.61 and Francesa Halsall of Great Britain was third in 23.73.

In other races, Elizabeth Simmonds of Great Britain won the women’s 100m back with a time of 56.82. Grevers led the men’s sweep of the 100m back, finishing in 49.85. Caitlin Leverenz (Tucson, Ariz.) won the women’s 200m IM with a time of 2:04.91. Nick Brunelli (Mansfield, Mass.) won the men’s 50m free in 21.29, beating Russia’s Vladimir Morozov by just .01 seconds.

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