USA Swimming Sectionals, Athens: Laure Manaudou Breaks Into Top 20 in 200 Back

ATHENS, Georgia, July 17. THE USA Swimming Sectionals held in Athens came to a close in a strong way as the meet served to be former Swimming World World Swimmer of the Year Laure Manaudou's coming out party in her return to competitive swimming. Manaudou had previously elected to retire from the sport, but recently made her comeback bid.

Manaudou threw down an impressive 20th-ranked time in the women's 200 back with a 2:10.20, reminding the world that she definitely is a force to be considered by 2012. Megan Romano touched a distant second in 2:12.95, while Lauren English earned third in 2:15.09.

With Manaudou scratching finals of the 100 free, Romano looked to have an easier go of it during the final evening of action. Romano claimed the women's 100 free in 55.09 with training partner Shannon Vreeland placing second in 55.60. Star's Faith Johnson, 16, rounded out the top three in 56.79. During prelims, Manaudou charted a 56.51 to qualify third in the event.

Kohlton Norys earned the men's 100 free crown in 50.16, while Evan Reed picked up second in 50.53. Bryan Lundquist completed the podium with a third-place 50.75. Notably, Nick Brunelli of SwimMAC led qualifying with a 50.45 before scratching the finale.

Adam Klein cruised to victory in the men's 200 breast with a 2:18.40, while Kenneth Crapse took second in 2:20.39. Gunnar Bentz wound up third in 2:21.46. Kevin Swander of SwimMAC qualified sixth in prelims with a 2:23.38, but scratched the finale.

Michelle McKeehan clocked a 2:31.93 for the win in the women's 200 breast. Lauren Norberg took second in 2:34.37, while Melanie Margalis claimed third in 2:34.53. Jana Mangimelli qualified second in prelims with a 2:35.06, but scratched the evening swim.

Preston Jenkins won the men's 200 back in 2:02.61, while Kyle Owens touched second in 2:02.90. Jay Litherland snagged third in 2:05.35.