USA Swimming Grand Prix, Long Beach: Kara Lynn Joyce, Matt Grevers Double During Day Three

LONG BEACH, California, January 20. WHILE the third night of swimming at the Long Beach Grand Prix did not feature an American record, some quick swims were still registered during an impressive session.

Kara Lynn Joyce and Matt Grevers matched each other with 50-200 free doubles, while Kaitlin Sandeno snared her third title of the meet. Additionally, Michael Phelps scratched from the 50 free (he qualified second with a 20.02) to focus on an American record attempt in the men's 400 IM. He came up short, but still notched a scintillating swim.

Women's 200 free
Kara Lynn Joyce started the third night of swimming with a swift effort of 1:43.70 to come away with the title. She finished just shy of her personal-best time of 1:43.54 set at the 2006 SEC Championships.

Meanwhile, Mary DeScenza put together a strong second-place swim of 1:44.09, also close to her best time of 1:43.96 from the same meet as Joyce's top swim.

Kaitlin Sandeno, coming down from altitude training in Colorado Springs where some days included four workouts, held off Club Wolverine teammate Allison Schmitt, 1:45.13 to 1:45.74, for third place. Sandeno's swim matched her personal best from the 2006 American Short Course Championships.

Notably, Kim Vandenberg had a strong swim in the consolation heat with a time of 1:45.68.

Men's 200 free
Matt Grevers, a backstroke specialist in a loaded U.S. event, has his sites set on a freestyle relay spot on the U.S. Olympic team. Grevers ripped off a 1:33.44 to win the 200 free, which is two seconds better than his previous best performance in the event. He clocked a 1:35.45 during the 2007 U.S. SCY Nationals in November.

Klete Keller picked up second-place honors with a time of 1:34.58, just scant time off his best readout of 1:34.42 recorded at the 2006 American Short Course Championships.

Adam Ritter, who recently turned pro, snared third place with a time of 1:34.89. He fell off his personal-best time of 1:33.23 from the 2007 Texas Invite.

Similar to Vandenberg in the women's 200 free, Davis Tarwater enjoyed the center lane in the B final en route to a 1:35.00.

Women's 200 breast
American record holder Tara Kirk posted a sterling swim with a 2:07.94 to win the race. Although not close to her record swim of 2:05.73, it still finished well ahead of second place.

Caitlin Leverenz, 16, kept the ball rolling after a breakout year last year. She finished second in 2:08.59, just off her personal best of 2:08.11 set last year at this meet.

Amanda Beard grabbed third with a time of 2:10.76 as she keeps her eyes on Beijing, which would be her fourth Olympics in a row after competing in Atlanta, Sydney and Athens.

Men's 200 breast
Mark Gangloff scored the easy victory with a quick time of 1:57.30. While not nearly as fast as his personal-best time of 1:56.10, he wound up stopping the clock with nearly a one-second victory.

Cheyne Bloch turned in a second-place readout of 1:58.22, whacking six seconds from his prelim time of 1:58.22.

Meanwhile, Jeremy Knowles completed the top three with the third sub-2:00 effort of 1:59.13.

Women's 50 free
In the women's splash-and-dash, Kara Lynn Joyce doubled with a fast 21.75 – scant hundredths of a second off her personal best time of 21.63 from the 2006 NCAA Championships.

Jessica Hardy cleared her personal-best time with a second-place effort of 22.29. Her old top readout had been a 22.38 from the Minnesota Grand Prix in November.

Kim Vandenberg rounded out the podium with a 22.63, while Melissa Bates, 15, placed just outside the medal winners with a fourth-place 23.66.

Men's 50 free
Remember the days when 19 used to be ridiculously fast? Four swimmers put up those types of times during finals, and the winner barely cracked the top 20.

Matt Grevers matched Joyce's double with a 50-200 double of his own with a smoking fast time of 19.18, cutting a lot of time off his previous lifetime-best effort of 19.35 set at the 2005 Big Ten Championships. However, that merely moved Grevers into the top 20.

Nick Brunelli touched out Jason Lezak for second place when he stopped the clock in 19.64.

Lezak, looking for his third Olympics this year, settled for third in 19.74. Bennett Clark joined the top three in the 19s with a fourth-place 19.96.

Women's 400 IM
Kaitlin Sandeno gave herself a distance title trifecta with a win in the 400 IM. After first claiming the 1000 free the first day, she captured the 500 free yesterday. Tonight, Sandeno nearly posted a personal-best time with a 4:05.86. At the 2004 Pac 10 Championships, Sandeno recorded a 4:05.74.

Caitlin Leverenz earned another strong swim with a second-place readout of 4:10.44, two seconds from her lifetime-best effort of 4:08.61. Lyndsay De Paul completed the top three with a time of 4:12.19.

Men's 400 IM
Michael Phelps gave it a go, but could not clear his American record time of 3:36.26. Phelps tore through the swim with a strong effort of 3:38.28 to cruise to the title. The time, however, still finish within the top five all time.

Tamas Kerekjarto had the best seat in the house with a second-place finish of 3:46.96, two seconds shy of his best time of 3:44.85 from 2001. Tim Liebhold grabbed the final medal spot with a third-place effort of 3:50.64.

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