U.S. Olympic Trials: That’s Mine! Dara Torres Reclaims American Record in 50 Free Semis

By John Lohn

OMAHA, Nebraska, July 5. MOTHER time never seems to fail to amaze. A night after she took top honors in the 100 freestyle to qualify for her fifth Olympic Team, Torres set an American record in her semifinal of the 50 freestyle, clocking 24.38. That time not only gave her the top seed for tomorrow's final, it broke Jessica Hardy's minutes-old American standard of 24.48, popped in the first semifinal.

Torres, the 41-year-old comeback kid and one of the best sport's stories of the summer, pulled away from the field heading into the wall, writing another chapter in her return to the sport after retiring after the 2000 Olympics. It's Torres' second American record in the event since her return to elite-level racing.

Qualifying second into the championship final was Hardy, who won the 100 breaststroke earlier in the week and also locked up a berth on the 400 free relay. Hardy has had a superb tuneup season in the sprint events, which have developed tremendously, and figures to be the top contender behind Torres when tomorrow's final unfolds.

Advancing to the championship heat in the third position was Kara Lynn Joyce, who managed a time of 24.70. Lara Jackson, who set an American record of 24.50 in the preliminaries, was fourth in the semifinals, going 24.94. The rest of the field for the final will include Lacey Nymeyer (25.06), Brooke Bishop (25.13), Kara Denby (25.15) and Christine Magnuson (25.37).

Full Results
Video Footage Removed Due to NBC Restrictions
Go to Swimming World's 2008 Olympics Landing Page for the most comprehensive coverage of the meet on the Internet.