FEDERAL WAY, Washington, July 19. GEARING up for Nationals and the chance to reclaim her status as the top breaststroker in the United States, Megan Jendrick won the 200-meter breast at the Speedo Western Zone Sectionals on Wednesday night. Jendrick posted a time of 2:30.38 at the Weyerhauser King County Aquatic Center and won the event by four-plus seconds.
Jendrick, who won Olympic gold at the 2000 Games in Sydney, is expected to challenge Jessica Hardy and Tara Kirk for the 100 breast title at Nationals. Meanwhile, she is also a factor in the 200 breast, a distance in which she covered in 2:30.05 during Wednesday’s preliminaries. On the men’s side, the 200 breast went to 2004 Olympian Scott Usher, who touched the wall in 2:15.32.
The 100 freestyle events were won by Lauren Thies and Ryan Verlatti. Thies checked in with a time of 56.52 while Verlatti bested Nathan Adrian, a California recruit who will take his sprinting talents to Berkeley and the mentoring of Mike Bottom. Verlatti clocked a mark of 50.80, quicker than the 51.25 produced by Adrian.