Hansen Breaks Meet Record in Prelims of Final Day at Nationals

IRVINE, Calif., Aug. 5 WORLD-record holder Brendan Hansen blew away the field in the 200-meter breaststroke preliminary heats en route to a meet-record clocking of 2:10.01. Hansen nearly broke his own world record of 2:09.04 during his morning race, but wound up erasing Ed Moses' 2:10.40 set in 2001.

Additionally, 108 Olympic Trial cuts went up on the board throughout a pretty fast morning of competition.

Women's 100-meter Freestyle
American record holder Natalie Coughlin posted the fastest time of the morning preliminary heats under a blazing hot sun by touching in 54.19. She opened up with the fastest front half of the top-eight qualifiers in 26.03.

Meanwhile, Swim Atlanta's Amanda Weir served notice that she will push Coughlin in finals with a tremendous back 50 of 28.02 to touch in 54.20.

Additionally, Tucson Ford Dealers Aquatics demonstrated great depth with three finalists in Lacey Nymeyer (3rd/54.71), Courtney Cashion (7th/55.79) and Whitney Myers (8th/55.80).

Other championship heat qualifiers included Athens Bulldog Kara Lynn Joyce (4th/55.07), North Baltimore's Katie Hoff (5th/55.21) and Swim Atlanta's Andrea Hupman (6th/55.27).

Overall, 30 swimmers cleared the Olympic Trial cut.

Men's 200 Backstroke
Three swimmers posted sub-two-minute times during a fast morning of qualifying. World-record holder Aaron Peirsol, an Irvine native and member of Longhorn Aquatics, cruised in with the fastest time of the morning of 1:57.19. Superstar Michael Phelps clocked the second-best time of 1:58.19.

That sets the stage for Phelps' biggest challenge of the meet as Ryan Lochte nearly tracked him down in the 200 IM. Against Peirsol, Phelps would be an underdog for the first time of the meet. Lochte, meanwhile, stopped the clock shortly after Phelps with a 1:58.66.

Incredibly, Peirsol nearly split sub-30 the entire race as he went out in 27.59 in the first 50, clocked a 29.33 in the second 50. He then went above 30 with a 30.28 in the third leg, before closing with a 29.99.

Other finalists will be: Stanford Swimming's Hongzhe Sun (4th/2:00.54), Tucson Ford Dealers Nicholas Thoman (5th/2:00.66), Auburn University's Doug Van Wie (6th/2:00.98), Suburban Swim Center's Ian Clark (7th/2:01.17) and Minnesota Aquatics' David Plummer (8th/2:01.47).

Overall, 19 swimmers recorded Olympic Trial cuts.

Women's 200-meter Breaststroke
100-meter breaststroke winner Megan Jendrick put herself in position to sweep the breaststroke events with the top time of 2:29.96 in the 200 breast. Meanwhile, Stanford's Tara Kirk (2nd/2:30.11), El Dorado Aquatics' Caitlin Leverenz (3rd/2:30.62) and Irvine Novaquatics' Keri Hehn (4th/2:30.68) will be her biggest challengers tonight.

Meanwhile, Florida Atlantic Swim Team's Eleanor Weberg (5th/2:31.03), Aquazot's Kristen Caverly (6th/2:31.82), North Coast's Jessica Schmitt (7th/2:31.86) and Blue Fins' Alexandra Ellis (8th/2:32.62) will join them in the championship heat.

Notably, 32 swimmers posted Olympic Trial cuts.

Men's 200-meter Breaststroke
Joining Hansen in the championship heat, most likely as spectators to a potential world-record performance, will be Eric Shanteau (2nd/2:12.40), Giordan Pogioli (3rd/2:13.35), Scott Usher (4th/2:14.27), David Ash (5th/2:15.42), Ryan Hurley (6th/2:15.47), Scott Spann (7th/2:16.24) and Mark Gangloff (8th/2:16.50).

Overall, 27 swimmers registered Olympic Trial cuts.