Hardy Breaks Meet Record in 100 Breast, Doesn’t Win Event

VICTORIA, British Columbia, Aug. 18. THE two-per-country rule provided the crowd at the 2006 Mutual of Omaha Pan Pacific Championships with a rare occurrence – a record from the consolation heat. After going toe-to-toe with countrywomen Tara Kirk and Megan Jendrick during prelims of the 100 breaststroke, Jessica Hardy took relegation to the consolation final to heart and came out with a vengeance.

After clocking the fastest 50-meter time of 30.90 of all night-time competitors, she came home in 35.53 to touch in a meet-standard time of 1:06.43. That effort surpassed the 1:06.52 set by South African Penny Heyns in 1999.

Meanwhile, Kirk won the gold medal in 1:07.56, while Jendrick took second in 1:07.58. Australia’s Sarah Katsoulis rounded out the medal-winners with a third-place 1:08.12.

"We've been close all summer," Kirk said. "It is great to have other girls swimming fast, but I am glad I came out on top this time. I saw her catching up, and I thought, ‘I just have to finish.’"

The outcome of the 100 breaststroke had World Championship team implications for the Americans as Hardy jumped into the lead in the event with Kirk dropping to second and Jendrick falling to third.

As for the medal count, the U.S. kept the domination rolling with 13 (8G, 5S), while Japan remained in second with eight (1G, 2S, 5B). Australia pushed its third-place tally to six (1G, 1S, 4B).

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