INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana, June 29. OLYMPIC bronze medalist Caitlin Leverenz finally punched her ticket to Barcelona with a victory in the women's 200-meter IM to close out the U.S. Nationals and World Championship Trials for the Golden Bear.
Leverenz blasted a time of 2:10.13 for the win, moving to fourth in the world rankings in the process. That swim put her behind only Alicia Coutts (2:08.63), Ye Shiwen (2:09.08), and Katinka Hosszu (2:09.75) so far this year. Also, she has more in the tank heading into Barcelona as she clocked a sterling lifetime best of 2:08.95 at the 2012 London Games.
It took all week for Leverenz to make the team, but she pulled it off at the end of the day. It also didn't hurt that Missy Franklin and Elizabeth Pelton both elected to not compete in the event.
Seven-year National Team veteran Elizabeth Beisel of BlueFish took down the second spot on the Barcelona squad with a second-place time of 2:12.11. Look for the 400 IM Olympic silver medalist to ratchet her performance up in a month at Worlds.
Saint Petersburg's Melanie Margalis finished third overall in 2:12.34, lowering her lifetime best of 2:13.26 from last summer's U.S. Open. Pleasanton's Celina Li (2:12.73), Gulliver's Jana Mangimelli (2:12.75), T2's Justine Mueller (2:14.03), PASA's Jasmine Tosky (2:15.00) and Athens Bulldog Shannon Vreeland (2:15.68) also vied for the national title.
Longhorn's Karlee Bispo raced to the B final win in 2:14.62, two seconds off her season and lifetime best of 2:12.49 from the Austin stop of the Arena Grand Prix.
BlueFish's Brooke Zeiger put together a 2:17.20 to capture the C final. She's been much faster this year with a 2:15.40 lifetime best at the Charlotte UltraSwim, but has been putting in some extra duty this week with relay swims.