MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota, August 1. WHILE not as explosive as a potential world-record bid, Hayley McGregory of Longhorn still gave the fans something to cheer for at the U.S. Open. Longhorn teammate Nick Thoman, meanwhile, came within .03 of breaking Aaron Peirsol's men's 100 back world record.
After clocking a 59.11 during prelims, McGregory gave the world record a run in the 100 back but fell short with a 59.20. McGregory was under world-record pace with a 28.40 at the 50, just edging Natalie Coughlin's 28.45 halfway readout from the U.S. Olympic Trials. Coughlin, however, had a much stronger back half with a 30.52 against McGregory's 30.80. Coughlin remained the lone 58-second club member with a 58.97 global standard from July 1.
Aya Terakawa had the best seat in the house with a time of 1:00.68 for second, while Lauren Rogers of California placed third in 1:00.92.
Thoman blasted a time of 52.92, just missing Peirsol's world record of 52.89 set at Trials. That time would have put Thoman on the Olympic roster in the 100 back as he joined only Peirsol under 53. Thoman went out in 25.95, while coming back in 26.97. The back half was monstrous as Peirsol set the global standard with splits of 25.60 and 27.29.
The effort also moved Thoman ahead of Michael Phelps (53.01), Randall Bal (53.09) and Helge Meeuw (53.10) on the all-time list.
Incidentally, the effort broke Ryan Lochte's meet record of 54.37 from 2006. Masafumi Yamaguchi (53.94) and Matt Clay of Great Britain (54.22) also beat the former record.
In an exciting finish to begin the night, Kristen Heiss of Aggie and Mary DeScenza of Athens Bulldog posted matching times of 1:59.43 to tie for the title of the women's 200 free. DeScenza's teammate Chelsea Nauta placed third in 2:00.42.
Michael Klueh of Longhorn followed with a triumph in the men's 200 free. He clocked a time of 1:47.66, while Bobby Bollier of Kansas City Blazers placed second in 1:48.13. Scot Robison of New South rounded out the top three in 1:48.48.
Center Grove's Michelle McKeehan cruised in the women's 100 breast with a winning time of 1:08.61. Annie Chandler of Tucson Ford touched out Corrie Clark of Suburban Swim, 1:09.26 to 1:09.48, for second.
In an Indiana-based battle, Scott Usher of Boilermaker overtook Kevin Swander of Indiana, 1:01.37 to 1:01.75, to win the men's 100 breast. James Gibson of Great Britain completed the podium in 1:01.81.
Athens Bulldog teammates Nauta, Kelsey Ditto, Kelly McNichols and DeScenza then broke the meet record in the women's 800 freestyle relay with a time of 8:07.22. That swim cleared the 8:09.42 originally set back in 1985 and later in 1999.