MINNEAPOLIS—Texas A&M swimmer Kristen Heiss (Casper, Wyo.) earned her second silver medal in as many days on Thursday night at the 2008 U.S. Open being held this week at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center.
Heiss swam her way to a second-place finish in the 400-meter freestyle, one day after taking the runner-up spot in the 200-meter backstroke. Heiss finished in a career-best time of 4:09.25 after qualifying for the final in 4:14.71 during morning preliminaries.
University of Georgia freshman Kelsey Ditto out-sprinted Heiss in the final 50 meters of an entertaining race which saw the two deadlocked with one length of the pool to go. Heiss had the initial lead 50 meters into the race with Ditto taking over right before the 100-meter mark. Ditto increased her lead to well over a full second at the 200-meter mark before Heiss began to reel her in. Heiss cut her deficit down in workmanlike fashion all the way to zero over the next three 50-meter lengths before Ditto was able to muster enough energy to turn back the 2007 Big 12 Swimmer of the Year in the final 50 meters.
Aggie senior Jenni Stratton (Portland) took sixth place in the consolation final of the 400-meter freestyle in 4:18.49.
Heiss’s two consecutive second-place finishes at the U.S. Open are the second-best efforts at the meet in A&M history behind only Danielle Townsend’s win in the 200-meter individual medley in 2004.
The U.S. Open will continue through Saturday evening.