Hayley Peirsol, Justin Mortimer Take 800 on Day One of Mission Viejo

MISSION VIEJO, Calif., June 20. HER brother may be a World Champion/world record-holder but Hayley Peirsol is quickly making a name for herself too.

The Newport Harbor High senior-to-be, whose brother Aaron set the world 200 meter back record at last March's U.S. Nationals in Minneapolis, won the 800
meter free this evening in the first day of competition at the Meet of Champions.

Representing Coach Dave Salo's Irvine NOVA team, Peirsol stroked to an 8:43.18-8:44.52 win over AFOX's Emily Mason, with Santa Barbara's Adrienne Binder (8:49.20) third.

Perisol's pr is an 8:34.94 that got her second at Nationals earlier this year and ranks her fifth globally. She also ranks second in the U.S. to Diana Munz' winning 8:330.06, which in turn is third-fastest in the world.

Mason won the Pac-10 500 yard free last March at Belmont Plaza and had she swum that fast at NCAAs she would have won there too. As it is, her winning time
(4:38.79) ranked her No. 1 nationally for the season. She swims collegiately for Coach Frank Busch's University of Arizona Wildcats.

Binder, who trains with Coach Ira Klein's Santa Barbara Swim CLub, swam the fastest 1650-yard freestyle by an American woman in a decade earlier this year at the Speedo Sectional Championships in Las Vegas. She is expected to make a bid for national honors in early August at the U.S. Championships in
Ft. Lauderdale.

The men's 800 was won Minnesota's Justin Mortimer, third at NCAAs in the 1650 free for the Golden Gophers. His time was 8:19.81 with North Coast's
Aram Kevorkian second (8:21.73).

The meet continues through Sunday.

— Bill Bell

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