U.S. Open: Flash! Jessica Hardy Lowers 50 Breast World Record on Way to 100 Breast World Record

FEDERAL WAY, Washington, August 7. TROJAN's Jessica Hardy is definitely completely back after a year away from the sport due to a doping ban. Tonight, at the U.S. Open, Hardy clocked a pair of world records.

First, she hammered the 50 breast in 29.80 on the way to a stunning 1:04.45 in the 100 breast finale. Yesterday, Hardy clocked a swift 29.95 for the 50 breast world record as part of a 100 breast time trial. She lowered it even further on the way to the 100 breast standard. Her 1:04.45 whacked nearly half a second from Rebecca Soni's world and American record time of 1:04.84 set last week.

Santa Barbara's Katy Freeman (1:05.35) and Suburban's Corrie Clark (1:07.43) rounded out the top three.

Indiana's Kevin Swander continued the recent resurgence in his career that started with an American record swim in the 50 breast at the World University Games this summer. This evening, he cleared 1:00 for the first time and moved to 13th all time in the 100 breast with a 59.40. That performance moved him ahead of Ryo Tateishi for 13th, and behind Giedrius Titenis' 59.24.

Tucson Ford's Marcus Titus placed second in 1:00.21, while Mike Alexandrov snatched third in 1:00.57. Swander's effort beat Titus' meet record of 1:00.33 set during prelims.

The U.S. Open is becoming Nick Thoman's playground. Last year, he nearly cleared the world record in the 100 back. This year, it nearly happened again. Thoman ripped off a 52.51 in the event to vault to sixth all time ahead of Arkady Vyatchanin's 52.57 and behind Ryosuke Irie's 52.50. Thoman lowered his meet record of 52.92 set last year. Patrick Schirk placed second in 54.75, while France's Pierre Roger took third in 55.21.

In a barnburner to open the night, Longhorn's Samantha Tucker held off a hard charging Erika Erndl of SwimFlorida for the women's 200 free title. Both swimmers cleared Erndl's meet record of 1:59.16 set during prelims. Tucker, however, came out on top, 1:58.81 to 1:58.92. Tucson Ford's Leone Vorster completed the top three in 1:59.39.

Tucson Ford's Adam Ritter won the men's 200 free going away with a time of 1:47.57. Longhorn's Michael Klueh claimed second in 1:48.65, while Minnesota's Alex Wold captured third in 1:49.25.

Aquajet Rachel Bootsma snagged the women's 100 back title in 1:00.47. BEST's Noriko Inada finished second in 1:00.64, while KING's Margaret Hoelzer touched third in 1:00.76.

Minnesota's Christine Jennings, Megan Braun, Marissa Davies and Stacy Busack concluded the night with a winning time of 8:07.68 in the women's 800 free relay.