Foreign swimmers made the most of the U.S. Open, none more so than the Canadians who picked up 4 firsts, 6 seconds, and 10 thirds. Canadians attended in large numbers. It was a long course tune-up for those preparing for the world championships in January. Others were still trying to qualify for a spot on the Canadian team.
Shamek Pietucha, Edmonton and the University of Virginia, was down to his final try at a spot on the world team. He was at his best ever in both butterfly events, winning the 100 in 54.30 and the 200 in 1:59.85. Unfortunately, neither time was good enough for selection. Both times were the sixth fastest time ever by a Canadian.
His misfortunes started at Summer Nationals when his second place finishes missed the required selection standard for the Pan Pacific Team. With no Canadian team participation planned for the World Student Games, Pietucha met the required selection times established by SNC and funded himself to get to Sicily. He finished second in the 100 fly with 54.33, and third in the 200 fly with 2:00.66, again missing the world championship qualifying times.
Other Canadian winners at the U.S. Open were Brent Sallee, 1500 free, and Curtis Myden, 200 IM. Two Canadian got seconds: Michael McWha in the 400 free and Andrew Chan in the 200 breast.
American men managed to win both backstrokes, with world-leader Lenny Krayzelburg in strong mid-season times of 55.27 and 1:59.20. Patrick Fowler, 17, won the 100 breast and Tom Wilkens won tthe 200 breast. Robert Margalis, 15, took the 400 IM in 4:23.26.
All freestyle events were won by foreigners from Lithuania, Brazil, Hungary, Spain, and Canada. Where have all the American freestylers gone?
Among women, only Martina Moravcova, SMU and Slovakia, stemmed the American tide. Moravcova won the 50-100-200 freestyles and 200 IM, and added a third in the 100 fly.
Kristine Quance put on her usual display of versatility with wins in the 100-200 breast, 200 fly, and 400 IM. Her times indicate very fast rested swims in Perth.