Brooke Bennett is like money in the bank in the long distances. The Brandon swimmer, who has grown to 5-foot-6 and 120 pounds, won the 800 by 11 metres in 8:28.79. She now has swept the three distance races in her last four appearances at the nationals. Diane Munz was second to Bennett for a third time.
After surviving the 200 IM to win in 2:01.18, Tom Dolan already looked forward to racing outdoors at the World Championships. He proclaimed to the crowd in an interview with P.A. announcer Brian Gordon: "I can guarantee all the U.S. swimming fans I'll be ready there (in Perth)." Then the Curl-Burke star dragged himself out of the pool and sat down on a chair to rest.
"I wanted this real bad," he said. "It's tough when you're mentally there and physically not. That was one of the toughest races I've had to do."
Ron Karnaugh, who in May graduated from the New Jersey Medical School, became the oldest U.S. swimmer at 31 to qualify for Perth. He was second to Dolan in 2:02.88.
Amanda Adkins and Bill Pilczuk, a couple of competitors with near-miss thirds at the Olympic trials, left no doubt this time.
Adkins of Greater Columbus rallied from a second and a half deficit at the final turn to take the 200 back in a personal-best 2:12.62. The Georgia junior caught 100 back titlist Lea Maurer, second in 2:12.88.
Pilczuk of Auburn also came through with a personal best for his third national title in the 50 (22.45). Pilczuk's winning formula: he didn't take a break after last year's trials, and in the final he held his breath the entire race.
Gary Hall was fifth in the 50 in 22.91. "I think I overtrained - I know there will be nobody who will believe that." said Hall, who hurt his shoulder one month prior to the meet.
"The one thing I do regret is missing the chance to race Popov (in Perth). But there will be other opportunities to race him before then."