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OMAHA, Nebraska, June 27. THE Trials textile best fell twice during the women's 200 IM at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials with California's Caitlin Leverenz and T2's Elizabeth Pelton earning the top two times.
Pelton, who scratched the 100 back finals to focus on this race, turned in a 2:11.37 in the first semifinal heat. That performance surpassed the 2:12.02 set by Amanda Beard in semifinals during the 2004 edition in Long Beach that had stood as the top time in textile at this meet. Pelton had her first international success last summer as a world gold medalist as a prelim relay swimmer for the women's 400 medley relay.
Leverenz, however, trumped Pelton in the second semifinal with a sterling 2:10.51 to lead the way into the finale. She has more in the tank as she already has the third-fastest time in the world this year with a 2:09.71 behind only Stephanie Rice (2:09.38) and Ye Shiwen (2:09.43).
Bluefish's Elizabeth Beisel clinched third in finals with a 2:12.27, while Bolles' Ariana Kukors qualified fourth in 2:12.32. Kukors is the world record holder in the event with a 2:06.15 from the techsuit era, and owns the American textile best with a 2:09.12 from the 2011 World Championships in Shanghai, when she took bronze in the event.
Maya DiRado (2:12.62), Jana Mangimelli (2:13.48), Jasmine Tosky (2:13.87) and Celina Li (2:14.02) rounded out the championship finals.
Caitlin Leverenz — 2:10.51
Elizabeth Pelton — 2:11.37
Elizabeth Beisel — 2:12.27
Ariana Kukors — 2:12.32
Maya Dirado — 2:12.62
Jana Mangimelli — 2:13.48
Jasmine Tosky — 2:13.87
Celina Li — 2:14.02