Olympian Peter Vanderkaay Closes in on American Record at 2009 Austin Grand Prix

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Two-time Olympian Peter Vanderkaay swam under the American record pace for 250 meters of the men's 400m free on the opening night of the Austin Grand Prix. His final time of 3:45.21 erased the pool record, previously held by three-time Olympian Klete Keller, by more than two seconds.

"I didn't know I was under American-record pace," Vanderkaay said. "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."

French Olympic silver medalist Fred Bousquet was also refreshed and ready to go, as he lowered the U.S. Open record in the men's 50m free. His time of 21.44 is the fastest time ever swum on American soil, and was also a pool record. Bousquet's Auburn teammates George Bovell (Trinidad) and Cesar Cielo (Brazilian) rounded out the top three in times of 22.01 and 22.08, respectively.

Five-time Olympian Dara Torres (Los Angeles, Calif.) got her hand on the wall first in the women's splash-and-dash race. Her time of 24.91 was more than a half second faster than the field. Jackie Vavrek (West Chicago, Ill.) followed Torres in 25.46, while two-time Olympian Kara Lynn Joyce (Ann Arbor, Mich.) touched in .02 seconds later at 25.48 for third.

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

Mary DeScenza (Naperville, Ill.) cruised to her 17th gold medal of the Grand Prix series when she clocked in at 58.91 in the women's 100m butterfly.

Whitney Myers (Oxford, Ohio) was the runner-up in the event with a time of 1:00.14. Alex Forrester (Pound Ridge, N.Y.) rounded out the top three in 1:00.37.

Myers came back one event later to win the women's 200m IM with a time of 2:14.05. Olympian Elizabeth Beisel (Saunderstown, R.I.), who competed in the women's 400m free earlier in the evening, edged out DeScenza by just .05 seconds to take home the silver. DeScenza was third in 2:15.12.

Two-time Olympian Katie Hoff (Towson, Md.) kicked off the evening with a monster performance in the women's 400m freestyle. Hoff, who holds the American record in the event, bolted out in front of the heat in the first 100 meters. She increased her lead each length for a final winning time of 4:07.28. Dagny Knutson (Minot, N.D.) hit the wall more than five seconds later with the silver-medal time of 4:12.95, while Beisel collected the bronze with a time of 4:17.71.

In other events, Masayuki Kisida of Tucson Ford won the men's 100m fly in a time of 52.44. Germany's Yannic Lebherz scored gold in the men's 200m IM with a time of 2:00.09.

Competition continues tomorrow with the men's and women's 400 IM, 100 breaststroke, 100 backstroke and 200 free. Prelims, which are conducted in the 25-yard pool (short course), will begin at 9:30 a.m. Finals, which are held in the 50-meter pool (long course), will begin at 5:30 p.m. Complete Results
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