By John Lohn
INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana, July 31. HE put up the 10th-fastest time in history, but Brendan Hansen expressed some disappointment after winning his latest national title in the 200 breaststroke. Near his world-record pace for the first 150 meters, Hansen fell off the mark during the last lap, but his vast talent still let him prevail in 2:09.91.
After missing out on swimming the event at the World Championships, where he was sidelined with illness, Hansen was eager for the chance to contest his pet discipline. He turned at the 100-meter point in 1:02.30 and was at 1:35.60 through 150 meters. Hansen split 34.31 over the last 50 and finished off his global standard of 2:08.50, set at last summer's Pan Pacific Championships.
"A lot of people call this pool the Home of Champions, but for me, it's been the Pool of Doom," said Hansen referring to his pair of third-place finishes at the 2000 Olympic Trials. "I've never swam well here. A lot of great swimmers have come here over the years and not swam well, and I fall in that line. I'm definitely not pleased with that swim."
Taking second place with a personal-best effort of 2:10.65 was Hansen's training partner at Longhorn Aquatics, Eric Shanteau. The Auburn University product has continually improved in the event and will enter Omaha for the Olympic Trials next year as a favorite to land a berth to Beijing. Shanteau's previous best was a time of 2:11.38.
"I feel like I'm getting there with this event, [as Brendan and I] go at it every day in practice. Moving to Austin has been good for my swimming and good for my life in general," said Shanteau.
The bronze medal went to Andrew Bree in 2:13.15 with Neil Versfeld fourth in 2:13.44. Bree's time qualified him for the Irish Olympic team.