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OMAHA, Nebraska, June 26. NO one could deny Allison Schmitt this evening as she dominated the field from start-to-finish, including some moments under world-record pace during the women's 400 free at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials.
Schmitty ripped off a blistering time of 4:02.84, moving to third in the world this year behind only Camille Muffat (4:01.13) and Rebecca Adlington (4:02.35). That time smashed Schmitt's Trials textile best of 4:05.60, as well as the American textile best of 4:04.24 turned in by Kate Ziegler of The Fish in 2007. She nearly cleared her lifetime best of 4:02.51 from the 2009 World Championships in Rome, and Katie Hoff's American record of 4:02.20 set in 2008. The win pushed Schmitt from third in 2008 to first this year.
Mission Viejo's Chloe Sutton, who made the team in open water competition in 2008 before giving up the sport to focus on the pool, made her first Olympic via the pool as she held off Curl Burke's Katie Ledecky, 4:04.18 to 4:05.00, for the second spot. Sutton nearly moved into the top 15 all time with the swim, as Bronte Barratt currently owns that spot with a 4:04.16 from prelims of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Sutton's effort shot her to fifth in the world this year behind fourth-ranked Kylie Palmer (4:03.40). Ledecky, just 15, surpassed her lifetime best of 4:05.78 set this morning.
NBAC's Gillian Ryan (4:07.27), Bluefish's Elizabeth Beisel (4:07.29), CAT's Becca Mann (4:08.65), Ziegler (4:09.17) and Athens Bulldog Amber McDermott (4:11.13) completed the championship finale.