Lezak, Hall Lead Qualifiers in Men’s 100m Free

By Phillip Whitten

LONG BEACH, California, July 10. AMERICA’S two fastest 100-meter freestylers – Jason Lezak and Gary Hall, Jr. — qualified one-two this morning in the first step toward an eagerly anticipated showdown.

Let’s face it: despite all the sugar-coating, there’s no love lost between these two explosive sprinters. And incendiary statements by their agents have only fanned the flames of their rivalry. Most recently, David Arluck, Hall’s agent and business partner, dismissed Lezak, comparing him to “Spud Webb biting the knee of Michael Jordan. Evan Morgenstein, Lezak’s agent, responded by threatening to “throw Arluck into the pool if I see him.”

This morning, though, it was time for the swimmers to do the talking – in the water. And speak they did: loudly and clearly, in a manner that spells good news for US sprint chances, if not for any potential smoking of the peace pipe.

Hall fired the first salvo. Seeded 27th and swimming in an unseeded heat, the 8-time Olympic medallist responded to the challenge by splitting 23.43 on his way to a 49.38 effort. That remained the fastest swim of the day until the final heat, when Lezak exploded to a 23.13 split, then came roaring home in 48.79, third fastest time in the world this year.

In all, eight men broke 50 seconds and it took a 50.79 to make semifinals. Texas Aquatics swimmers ranked third through sixth, as veterans Ian Crocker (49.41), Neil Walker (49.65) and Nate Dusing (49.80) and rookie Garrett Weber-Gale (pr 49.82) all looked relaxed and confident in their swims. Auburn’s Ryan Wochomurka (49.86) and ASU’s Nick Brunelli (49.98) round out the top eight.

The second eight also boasts some potential finalists including Scott Tucker, Matt Grevers, Sabir Muhammad and Randall Bal.

After the race, Dave Salo, Lezak’s coach, told swimInfo he liked what he saw in his swimmer. “There’s been a marked improvement in his confidence level as ell as his stroke. I think Jason can swim in the 48.3-range in the finals.”

Lezak told SwimInfo his goal is “to break the American record,” Anthony Ervin’s 48.33.

John Olsen, Hall's coach, commented: "Gary should go a little faster tonight with no extra effort after he shaves."

Added Salo: “Let’s get the agents out of the race and let the swimmers do the talking with their swims. And don’t forget, there are guys named Van den Hoogenband and Popov waiting for them…”

RESULTS

Event 14 Men 100 LC Meter Freestyle Prelims
==================================================================
World: W 47.84 9/19/2000 Pieter van den Hoogenband, NED
American: A 48.33 7/27/2001 Anthony Ervin, USA
U.S. Open: O 48.42 8/10/1988 Matt Biondi, Golden Bear
Meet: M 48.42 8/10/1988 Matt Biondi, Golden Bear
Oly. Tr. Cut: 51.19
Name Age Team Seed Prelims
==================================================================
=== Prelims ===

1 Lezak, Jason 28 Irvine Novaquati 48.78 48.79
23.13 48.79 (25.66)
2 Hall, Gary 29 California Aquat 51.02 49.38
23.43 49.38 (25.95)
3 Crocker, Ian 21 Longhorn Aquatic 50.30 49.41
23.33 49.41 (26.08)
4 Walker, Neil 28 Longhorn Aquatic 49.10 49.65
23.50 49.65 (26.15)
5 Dusing, Nate 25 Longhorn Aquatic 49.38 49.80
24.04 49.80 (25.76)
6 Weber-Gale, Garrett 18 Longhorn Aquatic 50.02 49.82
23.84 49.82 (25.98)
7 Wochomurka, Ryan 21 Auburn Aquatics/ 50.09 49.86
23.77 49.86 (26.09)
8 Brunelli, Nicholas 22 Arizona State/Su 50.04 49.98
23.62 49.98 (26.36)
—————————————————————–
9 Tucker, Scott 29 Irvine Novaquati 49.01 50.14
23.82 50.14 (26.32)
10 Grevers, Matt 19 Northwestern U./ 50.53 50.18
24.02 50.18 (26.16)
11 Rogers, Dale 21 Wisconsin Aquati 50.64 50.20
23.71 50.20 (26.49)
12 Jones, Bryan 25 Longhorn Aquatic 49.46 50.33
24.20 50.33 (26.13)
13 Muhammad, Sabir 28 California Aquat 50.63 50.49
24.07 50.49 (26.42)
14 Woodward, Gabriel 25 Irvine Novaquati 50.04 50.54
23.74 50.54 (26.80)
15 Bal, Randall 23 Stanford Swimmin 49.90 50.58
24.15 50.58 (26.43)
16 Lochte, Ryan 19 Daytona Beach Sw 50.56 50.79
24.84 50.79 (25.95)
—————————————————————–
17 Silkaitis, Terrence 20 Minnesota Aquati 50.59 50.88
24.38 50.88 (26.50)
18 Wildman-Tobriner, Ben 19 Stanford Swimmin 50.87 50.89
24.25 50.89 (26.64)
—————————————————————–
19 Hannan, Tom 24 King 50.37 51.14
24.11 51.14 (27.03)
20 Von Schoff, Scott 25 Arizona State/Su 50.15 51.15
24.40 51.15 (26.75)
21 Busse, Greg 25 Irvine Novaquati 49.42 51.17
24.15 51.17 (27.02)
22 McGinnis, Matthew 18 Raleigh Swimming 51.15 51.29
24.79 51.29 (26.50)
23 Bubolz, Kyle 18 Waukesha Express 50.64 51.35
24.16 51.35 (27.19)
24 Sullivan, Christopher 21 Oakland Live Y'E 50.86 51.48
24.19 51.48 (27.29)
25 Verlatti, Ryan 17 Tacoma Swim Club 51.13 51.51
24.94 51.51 (26.57)
26 Schumacher, Bradley 30 Irvine Novaquati 51.03 51.54
24.31 51.54 (27.23)
27 Knepley, Mark 20 Boss / Harvard/H 51.13 51.59
24.81 51.59 (26.78)
28 Gustafson, Tyler 20 U. of Tennessee 51.18 51.77
24.95 51.77 (26.82)
29 Marshall, Matt 21 Wisconsin Aquati 51.19 51.81
25.00 51.81 (26.81)
30 Davis, Josh 31 Unattached 50.00 51.97
24.85 51.97 (27.12)
31 Brado, Matthew 24 Curl-Burke Swim 50.83 52.07
25.17 52.07 (26.90)
32 Schnell, Andrew 22 Stanford Swimmin 51.15 52.17
25.40 52.17 (26.77)
33 Schroeder, Jarod 30 New Trier Swim C 50.80 52.33
25.13 52.33 (27.20)
34 White, Noah 21 Naval Academy 51.18 52.35
24.94 52.35 (27.41)
35 McCrary, Christopher 22 Rec Plex Swim Te 51.12 53.34
24.89 53.34 (28.45)
— Anderson, Luke 22 Irvine Novaquati 50.60 DQ
— Cramer, Jayme 21 Stanford Swimmin 50.40 DQ

Jason Lezak lead by a body length near the end of the 100 Free

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Author: Archive Team

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