By John Lohn
INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana, August 4. THE two-time defending world champion in the event, Katie Hoff (North Baltimore) made a run at the global standard in the 200-meter individual medley before touching in a high-quality effort of 2:10.62. The American-record holder's time was the sixth-quickest in history and Hoff now has four of the six-fastest times ever produced.
Hoff, who defended her world title in Melbourne in March, took the lead off the dive and was tracking the 1997 world record of China's Wu Yanyan throughout the four laps. The global standard sits at 2:09.72, but the record is considered drug-tainted as Wu received a four-year ban for steroid use before the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney.
Hoff split 28.59 for the opening leg of butterfly and was at 1:01.81 at the 100-meter mark. She came through 150 meters at 1:39.53 and finished not far off her personal-best time of 2:10.05. Hoff's American record is the second-best time ever. Hoff was followed in second place by Caitlin Leverenz, the Pan American Games champ in the 200 breast. Leverenz went a personal best of 2:12.32 and the bronze medal went to Julia Smit in 2:12.99. Fourth-place honors were collected by Kathleen Hersey in 2:14.91.