HOUSTON, Texas, November 16. BREEJA Larson put another exclamation mark on a spectacular 2012 today, lowering her short course yards American, NCAA and U.S. Open record in the 100 breaststroke at the Phill Hansel Invitational.
The Texas A&M junior posted a 57.53, bettering her time of 57.71 that she swam to win the NCAA championship last March. She now has broken the 58-second barrier three times, including her 57.92 at the Big 12 championships last February. Before Larson, no one had broken 58 seconds more than once.
Larson's splits: 27.29, 30.24.
The race continued a great breakout year for Larson, from the NCAAs to the Olympic Trials to the Olympics. She defeated Rebecca Soni to win at the Olympic Trials, and placed sixth in the 100 breast Olympic final.
Placing second in the historic race tonight was Nikki Daniels of Arkansas with a 1:00.12. Rachel Nicol of SMU was third in 1:01.33.
Texas A&M had other strong swims tonight in Houston, including a 4:01.56 from Cammile Adams in the 400 IM. It's a lifetime best for the Aggie junior, who had posted previously posted a top time of 4:05.41 to place seventh in the event at the 2012 NCAAs. She was followed tonight by teammate Sarah Henry with another lifetime best of 4:03.03. These two are the fastest swims so far in the collegiate season. Julia Kucherich of Arkansas was a very distant third with a 4:17.18.
The Texas A&M women started the session with a victory in the 200 medley relay with a 1:36.72 on the strength of a 26.91 breaststroke split from Larson and a 21.61 freestyle leg from Liliana Ibanez Lopez. SMU was second with a 1:38.77, while Arkansas took third in 1:39.08.
On the men's side, Louisiana State won the 200 medley relay with a 1:29.19. SMU was close behind in second with a 1:29.64, while LSU's B team placed third in 1:30.60.
Wyoming freshman Ryan Nelson won the men's 400 IM in 3:54.50, a lifetime best by two seconds. He broke away on the backstroke leg and handily defeated teammate Trevor LeValley, who placed second with a 3:59.11. Wyoming swept the podium, with Jayce Calhoon finishing third in 4:00.07.
Texas A&M had a 1-2-3 sweep of its own in the women's 100 butterfly, with Paige Miller leading the way with a strong time of 53.36. Tess Simpson followed in second with a 53.72 and Caroline McElhany was third with a 54.21.
In the men's 100 butterfly, Frank Greeff of LSU took the title with a 48.16. He held off SMU's Mindaugas Sadauskas, who was second in 48.69, and John Dalton of Texas A&M, who was third with a 49.35.
Ibanez Lopez returned from the relay to garner an individual victory in the 200 free with a 1:44.96, which bumps Jasmine Tosky out of the top of the collegiate rankings so far in the event. SMU's Nina Rangelova was second with a 1:46.22, while Henry posted a third-place time of 1:46.46 to complete a tough double.
Wyoming went 1-2 in the men's 200 free. Adam Kalms posted a 1:35.53 to easily win the event and put himself in the top five nationally so far this season. Teammate Ethan Griffel was second in 1:38.02, with Nicolai Hansen of SMU placing third with a 1:38.22.
Andrei Tuomola of LSU had the tough act of following Larson's American record swim, and won the men's 100 breast in a close battle with teammate Ricardo Alvarado Jiminez, 54.37 to 54.82. Teammate Gabriel Rooker was third with a 55.60. (Larson would have placed seventh in the men's final.)
Kelli Benjamin led a Texas A&M 1-2-3 sweep in the women's 100 back, winning with a time of 53.11. Paige Miller placed second with a 53.14, while Tess Simpson was third in 53.19.
Michael Young of LSU took the men's 100 backstroke with a 48.64. Placing second was Kalms with a 48.86, and Matas Andriekus of SMU was third with a 49.05.
Results of the 800 freestyle relays will be posted when available.