USA Swimming Grand Prix, Missouri: Day Two Finals; Flash! Kirsty Coventry Clocks WR; Katie Hoff Sets AR

COLUMBIA, Missouri, February 16. KIRSTY Coventry provided the Missouri Grand Prix with its second world record in as many years with a blazing fast time in the 200 back. Katie Hoff followed with an American record in the 400 free.

Women's 100 free
Katie Hoff rocketed to a winning time of 54.28 to move into the top 15 all time in the event. She also matched Britta Steffen for the quickest time in the world this year.

Hoff turned third with a 26.37, but had the strongest backhalf with a 27.91 on the way home.

Kara Lynn Joyce grabbed second-place honors with a 54.34 – a new personal-best clipping her 54.38 from the 2004 Olympic Trials.

Meanwhile, Natalie Coughlin, the preliminary leader with a 54.47, touched just behind Joyce in 54.36 in what gave the first morning of finals an auspicious start.

Morning Finals Impact
1. Katie Hoff; 54.28; 54.60; Faster
2. Kara Lynn Joyce; 54.34; 54.68; Faster
3. Natalie Coughlin; 54.36; 54.47; Faster
4. Kim Vandenberg; 55.35; 54.87; Slower
5. Jessica Hardy; 56.08; 55.75; Slower
6. Tanica Jamison; 56.10; 56.65; Faster
7. Leila Vaziri; 56.11; 56.16; Faster
8. Rachel Komisarz; 56.76; 56.67; Slower

Men's 100 free
Cesar Cielo clipped his Brazilian national record of 48.51 with a pool-record effort of 48.49 to win the men's two-lap event.

He never trailed as he went out in 23.27, then came back in 25.22 to capture the title with the second-quickest time in the world this year behind Eamon Sullivan's 48.28.

Matt Grevers, still emerging as a viable threat to make a relay for the U.S. Olympic Team, could not match the evening intensity from the night before when he clocked a 48.59 as he settled for silver with a 49.61.

Lyndon Ferns completed the top three with a quick time of 49.87, but still short of his personal-best time of 48.99 set in 2003.

Notably, Milorad Cavic clocked the second-fastest time of the finals session with a consolation-winning 49.21, with Fred Bousquet going 49.75 in the heat.

Morning Finals Impact
1. Cesar Cielo; 48.49; 49.07; Faster
2. Matt Grevers; 49.61; 48.59; Slower
3. Lyndon Ferns; 49.87; 50.01; Faster
4. Roland Schoeman; 49.88; 49.92; Faster
5. Neil Walker; 50.12; 50.00; Slower
6. Bryan Lundquist; 50.15; 49.97; Slower
7. Ryk Neethling; 50.19; 50.06; Slower
8. Nick Brunelli; 50.27; 50.01; Slower

Women's 200 fly
Mary DeScenza went toe-to-toe with Kim Vandenberg as the Athens Bulldog surfaced triumphant with a time of 2:09.01 to claim the title.

Vandenberg would up second, just behind, with a 2;09.47, while 15-year-old Felicia Lee placed third in 2:12.73.

Morning Finals Impact
1. Mary DeScenza; 2:09.01; 2:10.19; Faster
2. Kim Vandenberg; 2:09.47; 2:10.44; Faster
3. Felicia Lee; 2:12.73; 2:11.11; Slower
4. Carol McElhany; 2:13.76; 2:13.14; Slower
5. Dana Kirk; 2:14.70; 2:12.20; Slower
6. Whitney Lopus; 2:14.88; 2;14.99; Faster
7. Julie Stupp; 2:15.95; 2:15.31; Slower
8. Abbie Fish; 2:16.03; 2:14.69; Slower

Men's 200 fly
Michael Phelps set the bar way too high at the 2007 World Championships with his scintillating world record time of 1:52.09 to be able to match his feat of posting a world record in the same event here in Mizzou for the second straight year.

Phelps did, however, clock the fastest time ever on U.S. soil as he lowered his U.S. Open and pool record of 1:53.71 set last year at this event when he raced to the finish in 1:53.31 – easily the fastest time in the world this year.

He went out fast in 25.72 and remained consistent throughout with splits of 28.50, 29.40 and 29.69 throughout the race.

Kaio Almeida took a run at his Brazilian national record of 1:55.45, but would up settling for silver with a quick time of 1:56.44.

Davis Tarwater, meanwhile, fell less than a second off his personal best of 1:56.03 set at last summer's national championships. Tarwater ended up with bronze in 1:56.99 to close out the medalwinners.

This entire field demonstrated that the worries about morning finals adversely impacting times may be a bit overstated as every single swimmer went faster, and almost the entire field eclipsed 2:00 in finals. It looks like those swimmers that have looked into how morning finals impact the body and have learned how to adapt are seeing significant gains.

Morning Finals Impact
1. Michael Phelps; 1:53.31; 1:55.26; Faster
2. Kaio Almeida; 1:56.44; 1:59.64; Faster
3. Davis Tarwater; 1:56.99; 1:57.53; Faster
4. Dan Madwed; 1:57.75; 1:58.35; Faster
5. Stefan Gherghel; 1:59.01; 1:59.34; Faster
6. Bobby Bollier; 1:59.75; 2:01.20; Faster
7. Tamas Kerekjarto; 1:59.99; 2:00.00; Faster
8. Todd Cooper; 2:00.20; 2:01.18; Faster

Women's 200 back
For the second year in a row, the Missouri Grand Prix has hosted a world record. After witnessing Michael Phelps lower the 200 fly standard last year during an untapered effort, fans in Mizzou were lucky enough to watch Kirsty Coventry track down Krisztina Egerszegi's 200 back global standard.

Coventry clocked a time of 2:06.39 to erase the second-oldest record on the books as Egerszegi touched in 2:06.62 in Athens, Greece on Aug. 25, 1991. Notably, Coventry's time also obliterated Egerszegi's U.S. Open time of 2:07.83 set on July 25, 1996.

Coventry posted splits of 30.15, 32.02, 32.34 and 31.88 en route to the record.

Margaret Hoelzer (2:10.76) and Mary DeScenza (2:12.40) completed the top three in the race.

Morning Finals Impact
1. Kirsty Coventry; 2:06.39; 2:08.89; Faster
2. Margaret Hoelzer; 2:10.76; 2:14.50; Faster
3. Mary DeScenza; 2:12.40; 2:13.72; Faster
4. Elizabeth Wycliffe; 2:13.81; 2:13.88; Faster
5. Hayley McGregory; 2:15.13; 2:15.58; Faster
6. Leila Vaziri; 2:16.52; 2:16.58; Faster
7. Jacque Fessel; 2:16.96; 2:16.17; Slower
8. Katharine Anton; 2:19.12; 2:17.29; Slower

Men's 200 back
After the crowd calmed down from an amazing swim by Kirsty Coventry, Aaron Peirsol put on a backstroke clinic when he touched in a pool-record 1:55.85. His time not only lowered his pool standard of 1:56.27 set last year, it also stands as the top time in the world this year, ahead of Ryosuke Irie's 1:56.33 from last month.

David Cromwell, Peirsol's Longhorn teammate, went sub-2:00 with a distant second-place time of 1:59.01. While a quick in-season time, it still stood well back of his personal-best time of 1:57.43 set at last summer's national championships.

Matt Grevers came close to his personal-best effort of 1:59.99 with his second medal of the day when he clocked a bronze-winning 2:00.16.

Notably, world-record holder Ryan Lochte placed sixth in the race with a 2:03.80.

Morning Finals Impact
1. Aaron Peirsol; 1:55.85; 1:59.08; Faster
2. David Cromwell; 1:59.01; 2:03.08; Faster
3. Matt Grevers; 2:00.16; 2:00.22; Faster
4. Peter Marshall; 2:03.45; 2:03.02; Slower
5. Brett Fraser; 2:03.74; 2:04.14; Faster
6. Ryan Lochte; 2:03.80; 2:02.60; Slower
7. Tim Liebhold; 2:03.93; 2:04.47; Faster
8. Doug Van Wie; 2:04.13; 2:02.57; Slower

Women's 400 free
Mizzou nearly had the chance to brag that they witnessed two world records in the span of an hour as Katie Hoff went ballistic in the middle distance event. She obliterated the American record of Janet Evans (4:03.85 set in 1988), which is the oldest record on the American books, when she joined Laure Manaudou in the 4:02 club with a 4:02.20.

Manaudou holds the world record with a ridiculously fast time of 4:02.13 set on Aug. 6, 2006. Hoff definitely is making a statement as she stopped the clock just .07 behind the French superstar.

Hoff's splits were as follows:
28.71, 30.09, 30.53, 30.36, 30.20, 30.50, 30.93, 30.88.

Kate Ziegler, who previously held the U.S. Open record with a 4:04.24 from last July, took second in 4:08.69, while Jessica Rodriquez picked up third in 4:10.66.

Morning Finals Impact
1. Katie Hoff; 4:02.20; 4:04.44; Faster
2. Kate Ziegler; 4:08.69; 4:07.44; Slower
3. Jessica Rodriquez; 4:10.66; 4:12.78; Faster
4. Chloe Sutton; 4:10.99; 4:11.36; Faster
5. Allison Schmitt; 4:13.30; 4:15.45; Faster
6. Katie Carroll; 4:15.55; 4:14.12; Slower
7. Ashley Chandler; 4:18.03; 4:15.67; Slower
8. Elizabeth Goldson; 4:18.69; 4:15.19; Slower

Men's 400 free
After setting his personal best last night with a 3:46.39 during preliminary competition, Erik Vendt took a serious run at the American and U.S. Open records of Klete Keller during this round of morning finals. In the process, Vendt became the second-fastest American all-time in the event and joined the 3:44 club while bypassing 3:45 altogether.

Vendt clocked a top time of 3:44.56 with splits of 26.15, 27.90, 28.07, 28.37, 28.48, 28.67, 28.73, 28.19. That performance came close to Keller's American record of 3:44.11 set at the 2004 Athens Games and his U.S. Open standard of 3:44.19 set at the U.S. Olympic Trials.

Keller, meanwhile, nearly watched his records fall in the same heat with a second-place time of 3:49.29. Chad La Tourette finished third in 3:52.35.

Morning Finals Impact
1. Erik Vendt; 3:44.56; 3:46.39; Faster
2. Klete Keller; 3:49.29; 3:47.04; Slower
3. Chad La Tourette; 3:52.35; 3:52.91; Faster
4. Robbie Renwick; 3:52.71; 3:53.47; Faster
5. Fran Crippen; 3:53.01; 3:53.08; Faster
6. Robert Margalis; 3:53.31; 3:55.35; Faster
7. Sergiy Fesenko; 3:53.96; 3:52.84; Slower
8. Peter Vanderkaay; 3:55.62; 3:52.81; Slower

The Lakeside Swim Team of Abbie Fish, Heidi Hatteberg, Leah Reinhardt and Rachel Komisarz won the women's 400 free relay in 3:55.03 – a meet record, while the Tucson Ford team of Roland Schoeman, Lyndon Ferns, Ryk Neethling and Matt Grevers smashed the pool record of 3:27.04 with a 3:18.25.

Mary DeScenza at 2008 Missouri Grand Prix

Katie Hoff at 2008 Missouri Grand Prix

Michael Phelps at 2008 Missouri Grand Prix

Cesar Cielo at 2008 Missouri Grand Prix

Natalie Coughlin at 2008 Missouri Grand Prix

Erik Vendt at 2008 Missouri Grand Prix

Matt Grevers at 2008 Missouri Grand Prix

Kirsty Coventry Breaks 200 Back WR at 2008 Missouri Grand Prix

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