By John Lohn
LONG BEACH, Calif., July 10. FRESH off a world record swim in the 100-meter breaststroke, Brendan Hansen looked sharp in the preliminary round of the 200 breast, as the product of the University of Texas cruised to a Trials-record clocking of 2:13.08.
After notching a 59.30 performance in the 100 breast, Hansen stretched his stroke out considerably in the 200, qualifying more than two seconds ahead of Scott Usher, whose 2:15.27 won the third heat and ranked second after the morning session.
Hansen could challenge Mike Barrowman's American record during the semifinals. Barrowman, who went 2:10.16 en route to gold at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, has held the American standard for 12 years. Hansen's personal-best time is 2:10.69, which won him the 200 breast title at the 2001 World Championships.
Usher used a strong back half to his race to reel in Dave Denniston, who touched the wall in 2:17.30, good for seventh heading into the semifinals. Mark Gangloff (2:17.04) finished second to Hansen in the fourth heat while Christian Schurr was third in the heat in 2:17.29.
Ed Moses, the silver medalist in the 100 breast at the Sydney Olympics, took first place in the final heat, as his 2:15.86 showing narrowly edged Gary Marshall (2:15.88). Earlier in the meet, Moses placed sixth in the 100 breast. Eric Shanteau qualified eighth in 2:17.49.