Vendt Set For Pan Pac Championships

Aug. 22, 2002

USC senior Erik Vendt and former Trojans Lindsay Benko and Mark Kwok begin competition in the 2002 Pan Pacific Championships Aug. 24-29 in Yokohama, Japan.

Vendt will race in the 400m IM and the 1500m freestyle and Benko will compete in the 100m, 200m and 400m freestyle as well as in relays. USC Coach Mark Schubert is serving as an assistant for the U.S. women's team.

Teams from the U.S., Japan, Australia, China, Canada, New Zealand and countries bordering the Pacific Ocean will be competing in Yokahama at the ninth such event.

At the 1999 Pan Pacs in Sydney, Australia, Benko won two golds (400m and 800m free relay), two silvers (200m and 400m free) and a bronze (200m back). Vendt competed in three events, reaching the finals of the 400m IM, finishing seventh. Imai, from Japan, also competed, winning a bronze.

Among the highlights of the meet, no doubt, will be a rematch in the 400m IM between Vendt and 17-year old Michael Phelps.

Both Vendt and Phelps went under the world record time last week at the U.S. Nationals, but Phelps edged Vendt at the wall for the win. Both will race again in the event on Aug. 25 and another world record is possible in what is considered a faster pool than the one used in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., for nationals.

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