By Phillip Whitten
Photos by Peter Bick
INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana, April 5. WITH four 2004 Olympians – including American record-holder Natalie Coughlin — ready to rumble, the women’s 100-meter free boasted one of the deepest fields of these Trials.
Coughlin got the jump on the start, surfacing half a body length ahead of her challengers and just kept adding to her margin. She flipped at 26.36 seconds, well in front of the University of Arizona’s Lacey Nymeyer at 26.77 and SwimAtlanta’s Amanda Weir at 26.85.
Coughlin cruised home to win in 54.76, as Weir took over the #2 spot with her 55.27. Nymeyer, a 19 year-old rookie, nipped NCAA champion Kara Lynn Joyce for the third spot, 55.49 to 55.50. Mary Descenza and Emily Silver finished fifth and sixth in 55.64 and 55.87, respectively, to earn spots as alternates on the 4x100m freestyle relay.