INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana, June 27. WORLD-record holder Jessica Hardy raced her way to the top of the podium in her favorite event — the women's 50-meter breaststroke — at the U.S. Nationals and World Championships.
Hardy, in the first time a 50 breaststroke has been swum as a selection event on U.S. soil, raced her way to a win in 30.24. That swim beat her morning time of 30.39, but came up just short of moving from second to first in the world as Ruta Meilutyte still holds the mark with a 29.96. The win locked down Hardy's spot on the Worlds roster in the sprint breast.
Aggie's Breeja Larson, the 200-meter breaststroke winner already, demonstrated some serious speed with a second-place time of 30.40. That effort vaulted her to third in the world rankings behind only Meilutyte and Hardy.
Olympic gold medalist Megan Jendrick cleared 31 seconds to take third in the event with a smoking 30.98. That swim pushed her to just outside the top 10 in the world after having a much-reduced training schedule due to her recent motherhood. Jendrick still has the ability to be an international threat when she gets a full season of training under her belt.
Trojan's Kasey Carlson (31.17), Wisconsin's Ashley Wanland (31.22), Tennessee's Molly Hannis(31.32), NYC's Katie Meili (31.47) and BlueFish's Laura Sogar (31.77) rounded out the top eight.
Stanford's Sarah Haase raced her way to victory in the B final with a time of 31.73. That's just a tad better than her lifetime best of 31.75 from the 2011 FINA World Junior Championships.
Crow Canyon's Heidi Poppe picked up the C final victory with a time of 32.10. That's nearly a second better than her lifetime best of 32.90 from this morning.