By Kari Lydersen
Kristy Kowal set a new American record to win the 200 breast, solidly breaking Anita Nall's 1992 mark (2:25.35) with a 2:24.75.
Amanda Beard was second in 2:26.79.
Megan Quann, who set an American record in the 100 breast at this meet, was third in 2:27.60.
Quann was first at the 50, taking the race out in a quick 33.17, and Stacianna Stitts was second in 33.73. Kowal's first lap was a 33.93. But by the 100 Kowal had moved into first, a full .78 ahead of American record pace at 1:09.94. Beard moved up on the third 50, launching a serious challenge at Kowal until Kowal pulled commandingly away on the last lap. Kowal's last 50, a 37.29, was well over a second faster than anyone else in the field.
Kowal, 21 and representing Athens Bulldogs, took silver in this event and gold in the 100 breast at the World Championships in 1998. Beard, 18 and representing Irvine Novas, took silver in both breaststrokes at the 1996 Olympics.
Kristen Caverly was fourth in 2:29.11, and Annemieke McReynolds was fifth in 2:29.54.
Stacianna Stitts, who also made the Olympic team in the 100 breast, was sixth in 2:29.88. Jenna Street was seventh in 2:30.39, and Tara Kirk was eighth in 2:33.91.
This race means four different swimmers will be filling the four breaststroke slots in Sydney.
For live results feeds check the OMEGA TIMING site
Full results and schedule of events are available from US Swimming