Phelps wins 100 butterfly and 200 freestyle in Charlotte

May 14, 2010|By Baltimore Sun reporter

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Admittedly hurting at the wall and suffering a tad technically, Michael Phelps edged Peter Vanderkaay by 0.04 seconds in the 100-meter butterfly at the Charlotte UltraSwim on Friday, and won both events he entered in the USA Swimming Grand Prix Series event.

Phelps, also scheduled to compete in the 100 backstroke on Saturday, needed a final push to hold off Vanderkaay, who passed Chloe Sutton for first place in the series standings by two points.

"There was not much left in the tank there at the end," said Phelps, who trails Vanderkaay by three in series points for a $20,000 grand prize. "That one took just about everything out of me. Under the circumstances, that wasn't terrible, but I'd definitely like to be faster. There were some technical things I could fix."

Two-time Olympian Natalie Coughlin edged 17-year-old Felicia Lee to win the women's 100 butterfly. Coughlin, competing in just her second meet in two years, had the only sub-minute time in preliminaries, then bettered her time by 1.53 seconds in the final.

"My turn was awful," said Coughlin, eighth in series points, the only representative from her California club competing this weekend. "The wall was a little funky, but this gives me something to work toward in the next few months. It's easy for me to get excited at the start, and go too fast."

Sutton, the USA Swimming Grand Prix Series points leader coming into competition Friday, finished second in the first event of the day. Dagny Knutson, 18, a native North Carolinian who swims out of North Dakota, won the 200 frestyle in 1 minute, 57.83 seconds in the long-course meet. Allison Schmidt, one of several Olympians competing in the four-day event, finished 13th.

Other women's winners included USC swimmer Rebecca Soni (100 breaststroke) and Elizabeth Beisel, the youngest member of the 2008 U.S. Swim team in the 2008 summer games, who won the 400 IM. The Canadian team of Victoria Poon, Barbara Jardin, Sandrine Mainville and Genevieve Saumur captured the 400 meter freestyle relay.

Among men, Austrian and University of Alabama swimmer Hunor Mate won the 100 breakstroke; North Baltimore's Todd Patrick was first in the 400 IM, and ClubWolverine captured the 400 IM relay with Robert Saluvich, Matthew Patton, Peng Wu and Vanderkaay.

Phelps, who said his training hasn't gone well lately, will follow his race Saturday with a trip to Colorado Springs.

"Hopefully, I can make up some ground there and get some good training in," Phelps said.

Coughlin assumed her spot atop the podium after the 100 fly, flanked by North Baltimore's Felicia Lee and local swimmer Lauren Smart, of SwimMAC Carolina. Lee and Smart, appeared honored to share the podium with Coughlin, who called them to the top step for a photo after shaking their hands.

"There are so many kids here," said Coughlin, 27. "This is awesome. I remember being at the Santa Clara meet when I was 12, watching Summer Sanders. I was so excited, and it was cool today to be on the other end of that."

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