Shoot-out at the ok corral

Shoot-out at the ok corral

Lydersen, Kari

The 50 yard freestyle “shoot-out” highlighted the Kerr-McGee Nike Pro-Am, as elite swimmers from around the country gathered in Oklahoma City for prize money and fast swimming.

Ashley Tappin received a nice birthday present at the Kerr-McGee Nike Pro-Am on Dec. 18, just as she has the past two years. Celebrating her 25th birthday, Tappin won the 50 yard freestyle “shoot-out” at the meet with a special first-place prize of $1,500. Two years ago, Tappin won the first shoot-out and collected $6,000. Then last year, she finished second to Jenny Thompson and also collected prize money.

This year, Tappin, a member of the National Resident Team, beat Naoko Imoto, a Japanese Olympian, with a time of 22.76 to Imoto’s 23.35. Tappin also won the 100 fly (53.73), 200 free (1:46.39) and 100 free (49.74).

The shoot-out is one of the things that has made the Kerr-McGee ProAm one of the best short course yards meets in the country over the past few years. In addition to the shoot-out special prize, professional swimmers get $600, $300 and $100, respectively, for top three finishes. Amateurs (who haven’t completed or given up their NCAA eligibility) get credits at the meet store.

In the shoot-out, the top eight qualifiers from the 50 free prelims swim four one-on-one heats, with the winners meeting in two semi-final heats, then the winners of those competing in the final. Tappin won the earlier rounds of the shoot-out by comfortable margins with times of 23.23 and 22,87.

I love doing these,” said Tappin, who plans to use the money to pay her quarterly taxes. “It’s a lot of fun for me. I swim faster and faster as I go, so this works out well.”

South African Brendon Dedekind, 23, of Florida State, won the men’s shootout with a time of 19.31, defeating Texas Aquatics swimmer Neil Walker by 8-hundredths of a second.

“I’m real happy with that time,” said Dedekind, who also won the 100 breast in 54.71. He had finished his last exam to complete his electrical engineering degree the day before the meet. I was coming off a stressful week and didn’t feel good at first. But the format of the shoot-out really helped me get going. It helps you focus more, and your muscles stay warm.”

Shoot-out runners-up Walker and Imoto also got wins of their own that same night.

Walker set both a meet and pool record in the 100 back, turning in a 46.69 to break Sabir Muhammad’s 1997 records and win by almost three seconds. Imoto took the 500 by several body lengths in 4:50.66.

Other stars of the meet included josh Davis, Ron Karnaugh, Natalie Coughlin, Katie McClelland, Jason Lezak, Jarod Schroeder and B.J. Bedford.

Davis, who was unshaved, won the 200 free (1:35.23), 200 IM (1:47.09), 500 free (4:22.52) and 200 back (1:45.33).

Coughlin, who was also unshaved, won the 1000 in a personal best time of 9:50.53 and turned in unshaved bests or near-bests to win the 400 IM (4:11.82) and 200 IM (1:59.00) and take second in the 200 free (1:46.54) and 100 free (50.57). At the very end of the meet, she set a pool record in a time trial of the 200 fly. Her 1:56.35 would have won the event by three seconds. She said her performance at the meet showed she is recovering well from a shoulder injury she suffered last spring.

“I lost a lot of endurance and technique, but I think I’m back on track,” said Coughlin, 17, who swims for the Terrapins in northern California. “I was kind of using this meet to see how my freestyle’s doing, and I’m happy with the results.”

Another crowd-pleasing race was the 200 IM between Davis and Kamaugh. Davis took an early lead, then fought off a mid-race charge to win, 1:47.09 to 1:48.18. Karaugh then went on to win the 200 breast in 2:00.64.

Kamaugh, who is a medical doctor, said he was very happy with his swims, considering he had just arrived at midnight the night before after an all-day interview for a surgical residency at the Los Angeles County Hospital.

“My training’s going well,” said Karnaugh. “I feel strong in the water. This is the first time in four months I’ve competed, so these were really respectable times.”

McClelland, 22, won the 100 breast in 1:01.58, then set a meet record in winning the 200 breast (2:11.88), breaking Penny Heyns’ 1997 mark.

Bedford, another National Resident Team member, won the 100 back by two seconds (53.58) and the 200 back by almost six seconds (1:56.44).

National Resident Team member Schroeder won a close 200 fly race over Martin Pepper, 1.48.80 to 1:49.00. Earlier, Schroeder had finished second in the 100 fly (48.13) behind Jason Lezak’s 47.97. Lezak also won the 100 free in a speedy 42.63.

Distance veteran Matt Hooper won both the 1000 (9:12.03) and 1650 (15:19.91). U.S. Swimming had offered a $2,500 reward for an American record in the 1650 at the meet, but neither the men’s nor women’s winner was close, Other winners included Sergey Mariniuk in the 400 IM (3:53.42), Jana Krohn in the 200 fly (1:59.41) and Whitney Lynn in the 1650 (16:54.54).

Copyright Sports Publications, Inc. Feb 2000

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