USA Swimming National Championships: Elizabeth Beisel Claims Battle Over Julia Smit for 400 IM Triumph

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INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana, July 9. IT came down to the final touch, but Elizabeth Beisel of Bluefish had too strong of a front half to lose the women's 400 IM down the stretch to Julia Smit of Stanford.

Beisel, out under American-record pace with a 2:12.29 heading into the last two legs, held on for the win in 4:36.31. The swim is the fifth fastest in the world this year, behind Hannah Miley (4:31.33), Kirsty Coventry (4:32.15), Katinka Hosszu (4:33.88) and Dagny Knutson (4:36.02).

"I definitely helped that Julia and I were close to the wall at the 350," Beisel said. "I couldn't count anyone out. I'm just glad to be going to Rome this summer. Before the race, I started doubting myself, but once I got into the water I sort of calmed down."

Smit used a superior final two legs to pull within striking distance of the title, but settled for her second event in Rome with a 4:36.73 for second. The performance came on the back of breaking the American record in the 200 IM earlier this meet.

ASK's Dagny Knutson could not close the distance in the final 100 meters and wound up taking third overall in 4:38.37 to miss a spot on the World Championships team.