SANTA CLARA: Olympic superstar Michael Phelps had a lot more trouble with the cold weather than with his competitors at the Santa Clara Invitational swim meet on Friday.
Phelps won the 200m butterfly by more than 5 1/2 seconds, racing away from the rest of the field to set a meet record of 1min, 54.31secs — fourth fastest in the world this year.
While Phelps had the most dominant win, he was not the biggest winner. That honour went to American Dana Vollmer, who won the women’s 100m freestyle and the 100m butterfly, and then added her third gold medal of the evening by swimming the anchor leg on the winning 4x100m freestyle relay. Australia’s Meagen Nay won the 400m freestyle, took the bronze medal in the 100m freestyle and added a relay silver medal. Her teammate Leisel Jones broke her own two-year-old meet record with a winning performance of 2:23.92 in the 200m breaststroke.
Jones, a six-time Olympic medalist, is skipping the world championships this summer to focus on beauty school. Katie Hoff, who won three medals for the US at the Beijing Games, pulled out of the 400m freestyle final with a bad cough
and her coach, Bob Bowman, said she would skip the final two days of the meet. Other swimmers might be coughing soon, too, after an unseasonably cold, windy evening.