By Sharon Robb
December 21, 2013
In one of the most exciting finishes ever at an international meet, Team USA left no doubt in the final event with a world record at the Mutual of Omaha Duel in the Pool in front of a packed house Saturday at the Tollcross International Swim Centre in Glasgow, Scotland.
The foursome of Eugene Godsoe, Kevin Cordes, Claire Donahue and Simone Manuel won the meet’s first-ever mixed medley relay tiebreaker by 2/10ths of a second in a world record time of 1:37.17 ahead of Europe’s relay in 1:37.37 with Chris Walker-Hebborn, Damir Dugonjic, Jeanette Ottesen-Gray and Fran Halsall.
The splits were 22.88 (Godsoe), 25.40 (Cordes), 25.28 (Donahue) and 23.61 (Manuel).
Team USA, down by 23 points coming into the final day, edged the Europe All-Stars, 132-131.
“Not only did USA win the tie-breaking relay but we broke the world record,” said Donahue on Twitter after the meet. “I’m a world record holder. Does it get any better than this?”
Donahue, a frequent visitor to South Florida, will be training with the South Florida Aquatic Club after the holidays along with three-time Olympian Alia Atkinson, Florida State sprinter Tiffany Oliver and Western Kentucky’s Courtney Marx.
It was the sixth consecutive year that Team USA has captured the meet title.
Team USA came back to tie Europe, 131-131 after the 30 scheduled races. The meet was decided by a winner-take-all, one-point tiebreaker in the 200-meter mixed medley relay with two men and two women.
“I knew that with the team behind my back, as excited and as close as we were, the adrenaline could carry me,” said Manuel, who outsprinted Britain’s sprint champion Francesca Halsall on anchor leg.
In individual races:
American Michael McBroom broke the 800-meter freestyle short course American record in 7:33.99. The previous record was 7:39.90 held by Michael Klueh. McBroom now has both the short course and long course meters American records.
Tom Shields broke his own 200-meter butterfly American record in 1:50.61.
Kevin Cordes broke his second American record of the meet in the 100-meter breaststroke in 56.88.
The U.S. men swept the 50-meter freestyle with Jimmy Feigen (best time 21.20) and Anthon Ervin and Cullen Jones tying for second in 21.27.
Godsoe and Shields finished one-two in the 100-meter backstroke and Jessica Hardy and Micah Lawrence finished one-two in the 100-meter breaststroke.
Conor Dwyer was a double winner, capturing the 200-meter freestyle in 1:14.68 and 200-meter individual medley in 1:53.51. He also won the 400-meter individual medley Friday night.
“That was the most exciting meet I have ever been a part of,” Dwyer said. “I think it’s a unique event. It’s unlike anything else we do internationally. We take a lot of pride in it.”
Meet highlights from the The Mutual of Omaha Duel in the Pool will be aired on NBC-TV on Sunday, Dec. 22 at 4-6 p.m.
Sharon Robb can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org