Vendt, Sandeno Win At Santa Clara Invitational

June 30, 2003

USC All-American junior-to-be Kaitlin Sandeno, recently departed senior Erik Vendt and Trojan great Lindsay Benko were all winners at the Santa Clara International Invitational held last weekend in Santa Clara, Calif.

Sandeno took first in the 400m IM (4:47.53) during the Grand Prix meet, one of the final tune up competitions before the major international meets begin in July. Benko was the first to touch the wall in both the 200m free (2:01.38) and the 400m free (4:15.54).

In one of the most competitive races, Vendt beat Venezuelan Ricardo Montesterio in the 1500m free. Montesterio led for most of the race by less than second and still led after 1450 meters. But Vendt let it fly on the final 50, turning in a 26.75 split to win going away in 15:22.40. Montesterio finished second in 15:25.61. Former Trojan Klete Keller took third in 15:35.64.

Trojan All-American sophomore-to-be Ous Mellouli had a solid meet, taking second in both the 400m IM (4:23.26) and the 400m free (3:5.639). In the 400m IM, Mellouli edged teammate Vendt, passing him on the final 100 meters of freestyle. Vendt took third in 4:23.52.

The Trojan Club's women's 800m free relay of Benko, Margie Pedder, Jana Krohn and Joy Galloway won the event in 8:20.26 while the men's squad of Mellouli, Mark Warkentin, Trent Staley and Paul Fahey was second in 7:42.45. Trojan's women's 400m free relay of Sandeno, Galloway, Krohn and Benko was also second in 3:52.11.

USC will host its own Grand Prix meet next week. The Janet Evans Invitational will be held July 10-13 at McDonald's Swim Stadium.

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