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SANTA CLARA, California, June 13. THE third day of long course meter swimming at the Santa Clara Invitational concluded with Kirsty Coventry of Longhorn putting her mark on the meet with a difficult double.
Meanwhile, Nathan Adrian blazed to a meet record in the sprint free, while Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte each demonstrated just how special they are with remarkable splits.
The meet is part of the USA Swimming Grand Prix series.
Women's 400 IM
Kirsty Coventry cruised in the women's distance medley event with a meet-record time of 4:32.15 while representing Longhorn. Her time smashed Elizabeth Beisel's 2008 standard of 4:36.75.
"My turns can always get better," Coventry said. "I'm really happy with that time. It was a little painful, but this is a fun meet. The sun is out and it's a good atmosphere."
Minot's Dagny Knutson cleared 4:40 for the first time in her career with a second-place 4:36.02 as she continues to make her mark against the best in the world. Bluefish's Beisel, meanwhile, closed out world-record holder Stephanie Rice of Australia, 4:37.07 to 4:38.08, for third.
Notably, Katie Hoff came down with a bit of an illness last night and did not compete today.
Men's 100 fly
Ford's Masayuki Kishida put together a bit of outside smoke from lane two with a winning time of 52.43. He went out in a quick 24.41 before holding on for the victory.
"That is my best in-season time," Kishida said. "I just went for it. I still died, but it was a great race."
Ryan Lochte finished the event in second with a 52.84, while Longhorn's Ricky Berens took third in 53.00.
Women's 100 breast
Down the final 25 meters, Lethal Leisel Jones put away the field with a final burst in her pet event. Jones clocked a 1:07.11 for the win, just missing Jessica Hardy's 2006 meet mark of 1:06.97.
"We work on our kick and try to get them strong," Jones said of her final 25-meter push. "We work on our legs and get them warmed up. We get our breaststrokers started very young. We always work on it, and we have some depth there."
Kasey Carlson of Terrapin, who exploded onto the scene with the national high school mark in the 100-yard breast earlier this year, grabbed second with a time of 1:08.33. Australia's Sarah Katsoulis (1:08.46) and Samantha Marshall (1:08.72) finished third and fourth.
Men's 400 free
Swimming's superstar entered the building in the men's middle distance event. North Baltimore's Michael Phelps eased into finals with the fourth-fastest prelim time of 3:53.08. The rest of the field didn't have much of a chance from the start as Phelps shot out to a two-body length lead in the middle of the race.
However, the rest of the field started catching up to Phelps to make the finish much more exciting than the middle of the race might have foretold. Phelps posted a front-half 1:51.07 before completing the race in 3:48.05.
"The only thing I wanted to do today was to take it out, and if they catch me, they catch me," Phelps said. "I haven't really trained this much. I wanted to race as hard as I could. I was hoping I would have enough of a cushion to hold them off. I don't want to swim that race anymore. It hurts."
Canada's Ryan Cochrane nearly caught the superstar with a second-place 3:48.40, while Australia's Robert Hurley placed a close third in 3:48.49.
Women's 200 free
California's Dana Vollmer grabbed her fourth gold medal of the meet thus far after a triple last night. She raced to the win in 1:57.46. That performance just missed Bronte Barratt's meet record of 1:57.18 set last year.
Australia's Meagen Nay touched second in 1:59.31, while KING's Ariana Kukors cleared 2:00 with a third-place 1:59.80. California's Sara Isakovic also bettered the 2:00 barrier with a fourth-place 1:59.96.
Men's 200 back
Ryan Lochte's remarkable final turn allowed him to not only overtake Australia's Ashley Delaney at the 150-meter mark, but led to Lochte blowing him away down the stretch with a sterling 28.33 final split. Lochte wound up winning in 1:56.83 with Delaney taking second in 1:58.60 after leading Lochte, 1:27.65 to 1:28.50, at the final turn.
"My coach and I talked about going out smooth and making sure the last 50 was the same time as my last 50 at the Olympics," Lochte said.
Canada's Matt Hawes (2:00.30) and Brian Johns (2:02.86) placed third and fourth.
Women's 100 back
World-record holder Kirsty Coventry posted a 1:00.68 for the victory in her signature event coming on the back of her earlier triumph in the women's 400 IM to give her a double this evening.
Overall Grand Prix winner Mary DeScenza picked up second-place honors with a time of 1:01.54, while Katy Murdoch completed the top three in 1:02.05.
Men's 50 free
California's Nathan Adrian scorched the pool with a victorious meet-record time of 22.04 in the men's splash-and-dash. That performance beat Roland Schoeman's 2008 mark of 22.29.
The top three swimmers all cleared the former standard as George Bovell raced to second place with a 22.12. Brent Hayden snatched third in 22.20.
Australia's Stephanie Rice, Katie Goldman, Belinda Parslow and Meagen Nay clocked a meet-record time of 8:02.49 to win the women's 800 free relay. That performance crushed Australia's previous mark of 8:05.08 set last year. Nay produced a strong anchor leg with a 1:57.64. Meanwhile, Cal's Dana Vollmer anchored her second-place squad with a 1:57.19 leg. Cal's team of Erica Dagg, Madison Kennedy, Hannah Wilson and Vollmer placed second in 8:02.69.
Australia's Kenrick Monk, Nicholas Ffrost, Ryan Napoleon and Patrick Murphy smoked the men's 800 free relay meet record with a time of 7:15.88. The clocking beat Japan's time of 7:20.57 set last year. Monk keyed the effort with a strong 1:48.47 leadoff leg.