Event 5: Women's 100 Back Final
B.J Bedford ended her seemingly endless quest for an Olympic berth in winning the 100 back in a 1:01.85.
Bedford, long one of the top backstrokers in the world, was a disappointing seventh at the 1992 Trials and a heartbreaking third in 1996. This time she didn't just squeak in, however, she won the event solidly. Courtney Shealy, 22 of Athens Bulldogs, was second in 1:02.05.
"I am overwhelmed, excited, effervescent," said a tearful Bedford, 27 and swimming with the National Resident Team. "This is an unbelievable feeling. I never thought this dream of mine would come true, but it has. Sorry, I'm too old to be this emotional."
Lea Maurer, 29, the 1992 bronze medalist in this event, was third in 1:02.25.
Diana MacManus, just 14, was fourth in 1:02.33. Haley Cope, the top qualifier was fifth in 1:02.34. Denali Knapp was sixth in 1:02.46, Amanda Adkins seventh in 1:02.77.
Beth Botsford, who took bronze in this event at the 1996 Olympics, was eighth in 1:02.81 — she suffered a sprained ankle a week before the meet.
"I wanted to put forth the best race I could," said Bedford. "And I think I did that."
Event 6: Men's 200 Free Final
Josh Davis broke Matt Biondi's 12-year-old American record by a solid half a second in winning the 200 free in 1:47.26. Biondi's mark, set in 1988, was a 1:47.72.
Davis, 27 and representing Circle C, took a commanding lead from the first lap. Jamie Rauch of Texas hung in second for much of the race, but Rauch's Texas teammate Scott Goldblatt rode a strong finish to pull out second place in a tight race. Chad Carvin, who was second in the 400 free, earned another Olympic berth with third in 1:48.17. The top six finishers in this event qualify for the 800 free relay: joining Davis, Goldblatt and Carvin on the relay are 400 free champion Klete Keller (fourth in 1:48.31), Rauch (fifth in 1:48.73) and Nate Dusing (1:48.99 and also swimming for Texas).
Ugur Taner missed the team by just .01 with a 1:49.00 for seventh, and Adam Messner was eighth in 1:51.27.
"My goal is to get an individual medal in the 200," said Davis, who won gold on the 800 free relay in the 1996 Olympics. "I've got my work cut out for me with the Australians. Right now I'm fourth in the world, so I have a month to move up one spot."
Davis noted that with his third child on the way, "My mom keeps telling me to get a real job."
But right now nothing seems more real to Davis than representing the U.S. in Sydney.
"There's nothing like wearing the red, white and blue," he said. "The United States is the best country in the world so it's only right we'd have the best athletes in the world."
Event 11: Women's 200 Free Semi-Finals
Samantha Arsenault, the top qualifier after prelims, continued her streak with a top-qualifying 2:00.16 in the semi-finals. Arsenault, 18 and representing Greenwood, was followed by Rada Owens of Auburn in 2:00.70. Lindsay Benko, 23, was third in 2:00.76, and Sarah Tolar was fourth in 2:00.78. Ellen Stonebraker qualified fifth in 2:00.93, 400 free champion Diana Munz was sixth in 2:01.00, Julia Stowers was seventh in 2:01.15 and Kim Blak was eighth in 2:01.23.
The top six finishers in the finals of this event qualify for the Olympic 800 free relay team, meaning that anyone in the tight heat has a chance.
Event 8: Men's 100 Back Finals
Lenny Krayzelburg won the 100 by a full second in 53.84, ahead of Neil Walker of Texas in 54.85. Both Krayzelburg and Walker were ahead of world record pace at the 50, with Walker leading in 25.59 and Krayzelburg in 25.62.
Krayzelburg, 24, had narrowly missed his own world record of 53.60 in semi-finals, going a 53.67 without even wearing a cap. (In finals his hair was tucked under a Trojan Swim Club cap).
Randall Bal was third in 55.09, 17-year-old Aaron Piersol was fourth in 55.16, Marc Lindsay was fifth in 55.79, Tate Blahnik sixth in 55.81, Brad Bridgewater seventh in 55.82 and Matt Ulrickson eighth in 55.92.
This is the first Olympic team for Krayzelburg, who was fifth in the 200 back at 1996 Trials. He holds the world records in the 50, 100 and 200 back as well as in the 100 and 200 back short course meters; last year he was USA Swimming's Swimmer of the Year.
"This is a tremendous honor," said Krayzelburg, who came to the U.S. from Russia in 1989. "First of all I feel so lucky to have come to the U.S. and I want to thank my parents for that. This is something I've been working for for a long time. Now I have the monkey off my back and I can go down to Sydney and swim fast."
Event 13: Women's 200 IM Semi-Finals
After scratching the 200 free semi-finals, Cristina Teuscher qualified first for finals in the 200 IM with a 2:14.21.
Teuscher, 22 and representing Badger, was followed by Laura Davis in 2:16.12. Third was Maggie Bowen in 2:16.16, fourth was Michala Kwasny in 2:16.50, fifth Maddy Crippen in 2:16.58, sixth Natalie Coughlin in 2:16.65, seventh was Gabrielle Rose in 2:16.70, and eighth was Ashley Daly in 2:16.99.
Kristine Quance-Julian, who had qualified second for semi-finals, was ninth in 2:17.49, over a second slower than her prelim time.
Event 12: Men's 200 Fly Semi-Finals
Tom Malchow, the bronze medalist in this event at the 1996 Olympics, qualified first in the 200 fly semi-finals with a 1:56,67. Malchow set the world record of 1:55.18 in June; in prelims he made a run on that mark with a 1:55.67.
15-year-old Michael Phelps swam a precocious 1:58.24 to qualify second, taking a commanding lead of his heat right from the start with a 56.68 first 100.
Jeff Somensatto qualified third in 1:58.48, Andrew Mahaney was fourth in 1:59.69, Steve Brown fifth in 1:59.78, Doak Finch sixth in 2:00.33, Eric Donnelly seventh in 2:00.38 and Matt Pierce eighth in 2:00.68.
Event 7: Women's 100 Breast Final
Megan Quann won the 100 breast final in 1:07.26, slightly off the American record of 1:07.12 she had set in prelims. Quann, 16 and representing Puyallup Aquatics, had previously held the American record of 1:07. 54, set in March.
Stacianna Stitts joined Quann on the Olympic team with a 1:07.79 second-place finish. Stitts, 18 and representing Novaquatics, tied for second in this event at the NCAA Championships as a freshman.
This field was the fastest 100 breast field in history, with the top four qualifiers (Quann, Stitts, Amy Balcerzak and Kristy Kowal) holding the top four times in American history.
Kowal, the defending World Champion in this event, was third in 1:07.80, missing the team by just .01 of a second.
Balcerzak, 22 and representing Northwestern, was fourth in 1:08.96. Kristen Woodring was fifth in 1:09.51, Erin Sieper was sixth in 1:10.04, Ashley Roby was seventh in 1:10.25 and Amanda Beard, the 1996 Olympic silver medalist in this event, was eighth in 1:10.41.
"This is the most amazing feeling," said Quann. "It's something I've worked so hard for, so to see that time on the board is just amazing."
Quann's swim is all the more amazing because she hasn't even begun to taper.
"I'm still swimming 15,000 a day," she said. "So I'm very excited for Sydney."
For live results feeds check the OMEGA TIMING site.
Full results and schedule of events are available from US Swimming