INDIANAPOLIS--- Meghan Hawthorne grabbed the top spot in the women’s 400m IM with a time of 4:40.43 to open night three of the U.S. Open. The meet, taking place at the IUPUI Natatorium in Indianapolis, runs through August 11, 2012.
She was trailed by second place Sarah Henry in 4:40.90, and third place Rebecca Mann in 4:43.07.
Courtney Otto, Lindsay De Paul, and Rebecca Mann led the first 50 meters of fly, quickly knocked off by accelerating Allysa Vavra at the 150-meter turn of backstroke. Vavra came out strong, extending to a full body length by the first turn of breast. On the first turn of the freestyle, the race tightened to include Hawthorne and Henry touching at the front of the pack. At the final turn, Hawthorne and Henry swam in front, creating a two woman race to the finish.
“It was pretty exciting,” Hawthorne said of the final 100 meters. “I told myself ‘I’ve got to make a move.’ With the training I’ve done, I knew everything in the race would take care of itself. I think it did!”
Michael Weiss was the men’s answer to the 400m IM, completing his race in 4:15.79, followed by Adam Hinshaw in 4:17.91, and Stephen Schmuhl in 4:18.74.
Schmuhl led the race for the first three strokes, extending his largest lead during the backstroke at the 200 meter turn. Weiss and Hinshaw found footing during the breast that propelled them into a tight race after the first freestyle turn. Weiss closed in on Schmuhl taking the first touch at 300 meters. By the final 50 meter sprint, Weiss was in a clear lead, and Hinshaw worked his way out of pack to claim second.
“This was a race I’ve been aiming at most for the last year,” Weiss said. “It’s what I’ve been training for. After an exciting Olympic Trials, this was a mental game of getting refocused. I had one goal: to go out and race.”
“I took my first breath and saw I had a full body length lead,” Weiss said of his final turn. “It was an instant adrenaline rush to the end.”
In the women’s 100m fly, Erika Erndl earned the top spot with 58.75. Kelsey Floyd claimed second in 58.98, and Jasmine Tosky held third with 59.45.
“It feels good to win the race,” Erndl said. “My goal was to come out and see if I could go faster than I did at Trials. I’m always hard on myself, but it’s a best time, so I’m really happy with it.”
Australian Kenneth To took first in the men’s 100m fly in 52.65. Kyler Van Swol took second (52.89), and fellow Australian Daniel Lester took third (52.93).
“I just went for it,” second place Van Swol said. “It felt pretty good.”
Pleasanton Seahawks touched first in the women’s 800m free relay with 8:11.83. Australia took second in 8:12.44, and Minnesota Aquatics took third in 8:12.59.
The men’s 800m free relay concluded with an all-foreign sweep. Great Britain placed first in 7:23.76, Australia placed second in 7:24.02, and Canada placed third in 7:29.46.
Competition continues Friday with the 200m free, 100m breast, 100m back and 400m medley relay. For more information on the U.S. Open visit www.usaswimming.org.