All-American Long Course Championships: Scintillating Times Shine Through During Second Day as Hayley McGregory Tops WR

AUSTIN, Texas, March 7. THE second night of swimming at the All-American Long Course Championships provided some incredible competition throughout the evening. Most notably, Hayley McGregory cleared the women's 50 back world record with a time of 28.00 as a leadoff in the 200 medley relay.

Women's 400 IM
Kirsty Coventry, fresh off her world record in the 200 back in Missouri, jumped into third all time in the women's 400 IM when she dropped a 4:34.25 to warm up her newly-adopted hometown crowd. She posted splits of 1:03.43, 2:21.07, 3:32.20 on the way to the remarkable swim.

She now stands behind only Katie Hoff's world record 4:32.89 and Yana Klochkova's effort of 4:33.59. She moved ahead of Kaitlin Sandeno's 4:34.95 as Coventry knocked three seconds from her previous best time of 4:37.70.

Kathleen Hersey of Swim Atlanta came within three seconds of her personal-best time of 4:42.25 set at last year's national championships as she took silver with a time of 4:45.97, while Caroline McElhany, 16, of Longhorn Aquatics rounded out the top three with a readout of 4:51.35.

Men's 400 IM
Robert Margalis of Athens Bulldog went toe-to-toe with Eric Shanteau of Longhorn in the men's 400 IM as the duo provided an epic battle. Margalis touched just ahead in 4:17.27 against Shanteau's 4:17.39 as he had enough in the tank to overtake Shanteau in the freestyle stretch.

Margalis posted splits of 59.17, 2:05.86 and 3:18.40, while Shanteau clocked times of 1:00.05, 2:07.53 and 3:17.85.

Meanwhile, Miller Douglas of Swim Atlanta finished well behind to round out the top three in 4:32.14.

Women's 100 breast
Tara Kirk rocked the women's 100 breaststroke to the tune of a 1:07.39, just off her best effort of 1:06.34 set at last year's 2007 World Championships. Elizabeth Tinnon, of Lakeside, nearly cleared her lifetime best with a second-place effort of 1:08.78. Previously, Tinnon posted a 1:08.94 at the 2007 Pan American Games.

Meanwhile, Alia Atkinson of Texas A&M touched out Adriana Marmolejo of Sun Devil Aquatics, 1:11.52 to 1:11.96, for the final medal spot.

Men's 100 breast
Brendan Hansen, easily the most dominant male breaststroker in the sport with a world-record effort of 59.13 as well as the bulk of the top 10 times ever, clocked the seventh fastest time ever with an astounding effort of 59.61.

Hansen already owns times of 59.13, 59.30, 59.37, 59.51 and 59.59 ahead of that mark, while Kosuke Kitajima has a 59.53 to his name. Hansen took the swim out in 28.13 and brought it home in 31.48.

In other action, Alfredo Jacobo of the Aggie Swim Club hit the wall in 1:02.75 for second, while Neil Versfeld finished third in 1:03.04.

Women's 100 back
Even more fast swimming came in the women's 100 back. Kirsty Coventry, who took a run at Natalie Coughlin's newest world record of 59.21 set at the Missouri Grand Prix when she clocked a 59.47 in finals, dipped her top time even lower with a 59.42 as she further secure her spot as the second-fastest swimmer in the world in the event.

Meanwhile, the sub-1:00 club is starting to get crowded as Hayley McGregory of Longhorn joined Coventry with a ridiculously fast time of 59.81 to become the fourth-fastest swimmer ever.

Talk about a resurgence in the event after Natalie Coughlin owned the world record with a time of 59.58 set in 2002. Since Coughlin dropped the record to 59.44 at the 2007 World Championships and further lowered it to 59.21 in Missouri, two more swimmers have joined the 59 club.

With Coughlin in first, and Coventry in second, Russia's Anastasia Zueva stands as the third best in the event with her 59.64 from the Russian Open Championships in February. Meanwhile, Laure Manaudou has been sitting on a 59.87 since the 2007 World Championships.

Notably, Mary DeScenza placed third for Athens Bulldog with a time of 1:01.72.

Men's 100 back
World-record holder Aaron Peirsol had some company in an event he usually dominates. Peirsol, however, went out just fast enough to be able to match teammate David Cromwell's backhalf and emerge victorious. Peirsol, who owns the global standard with a 52.98, went out in 26.16 and came back in 27.56 to win the event in 53.72.

Meanwhile, Cromwell had the backhalf speed to win of 27.56, but could not get out fast enough with a 26.25 to fall to second in 53.81. Regardless, it was an amazing contest as Cromwell continues to throw his hat in the Olympic berth ring in a tough event to get one.

Adam Mania, on the other hand, pocketed third-place honors with a time of 55.50.

Women's 200 free
In another extraordinary finish, fans had the chance to see a trio of top performers finish within half a second of each other. Kara Lynn Joyce of Athens Bulldog jumped out to an early lead with a 58.48 at the 100 and then continued to push as Jessica Rodriquez of Longhorn and Chris Marshall of Texas A&M tried to track her down. Joyce had too much left, though, and won in 2:00.40.

Rodriquez and Marshall, who touched in 58.84 and 58.85, respectively, at the halfway mark wound up hitting the wall in 2:00.74 and 2:00.83 as they came roaring down the final 100 meters.

Men's 200 free
Klete Keller of Trojan Swim Club pushed the pace throughout as he completed the night with a winning effort of 1:47.95. He posted splits of 25.52, 52.59 and 1:19.98 on the way to the win.

Meanwhie, Jayme Cramer of Crawfish Aquatics earned second place with a time of 1:48.35, while Matt Grevers of Tucson Ford notched a time of 1:48.41 to complete the top three.

Relays
Hayley McGregory broke the women's 50 back world record with a 28.00 as reported here as she and her Longhorn teammates of Jessica Rodriquez, Caroline McElhany and Tanica Jamison won in 1:57.08.

For the men, Swim Atlanta's team of Adrejs Duda, Dawii Zarins, Miller Douglas and Stephan Swan won in 1:47.54.