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OMAHA, Nebraska, June 25. ELIZABETH Beisel continues to step up in the limelight in the women's 400 IM. Last summer, she produced a textile best swim of 4:31.78 en route to her first world title. Tonight, she clipped the time in a victorious swim at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials that left her smiling.
Beisel blitzed the field with a blistering time of 4:31.74, now the 10th fastest ever, edging her closer to Katie Hoff's American record of 4:31.12 set at Trials in 2008. The win gave Beisel her second Olympic appearance in the event after taking second to Hoff in 2008 with a 4:32.87.
Leverenz will join her in London in the distance medley with a lifetime best of 4:34.48, which cleared her previous best of 4:35.60. She moved to sixth in the world this year with that swim, and into 13th all time as she claimed her first Olympic berth. She nearly made the Olympics in 2008 with a third-place finish in the 200 breast, and getting on the team the first day should give her confidence heading into the rest of the meet.
Beisel and Leverenz definitely showed their strengths as the two traded the lead after each stroke transition. Leverenz went out first with a 1:01.94 in the butterfly as Beisel fell to third. Beisel returned fire in the backstroke leg, taking a 2:11.50 for the lead as Leverenz fell to fourth with a 2:14.23. Beisel then held her own in the breaststroke, leading the breaststroke star Leverenz 3:29.09 to 3:30.14, heading into the freestyle leg.
Texas A&M's Cammile Adams (4:38.62), Stanford's Maya Dirado (4:38.67), CAT's Becca Mann (4:41.61), Rattler's Meghan Hawthorne (4:41.75), Texas A&M's Sarah Henry (4:42.45) and Trojan's Haley Anderson (4:46.12) comprised the rest of the finale field.
Notably, two-time reigning champion Katie Hoff, now training with T2 Aquatics, elected not to compete in the event this time around. If she could have pulled off the win, she had a chance to become just the fourth female in Trials history to threepeat. Janet Evans, Eleanor Helm and Mary T. Meagher are the only other women to go back-to-back-to-back in the history of the U.S. Trials spanning back to the 20s.