Jensen, Binder Capture 800 in Wire-To-Wire Fashion

July 13, 2006

USC senior Larsen Jensen captured the men's 800-meter freestyle and Santa Barbara Swim Club's Adrienne Binder won the women's 800-meter freestyle during Thursday's first day of competition at the 13th annual Janet Evans Invitational at the USC McDonald's Swim Stadium.

Both were using the event as a tune-up to the USA Swimming National Championships next month in Irvine.

Jensen, who set the American record in the event at the 2005 World Championships, took the lead at the start of Thursday's race and pulled clear to win in a time of 8:03.49. Fran Crippen of Mission Viejo Nadadores came on for second place in the final 100 meters with a time of 8:10.81. Emeric Courteille, an 18-year-old member of the French national team, finished third in 8:11.12.

'[The time] is better than I've been training,' said Jensen, who captured the silver medal in the 1,500-meter freestyle at the 2004 Olympics. 'I came back real fast in the last 100.'

Jensen is beginning to return to top form after undergoing ACL surgery in September 2005.

'I'm almost 100 percent,' he said. '[Doctors] said I would be 100 percent in about a year, and so it's coming up on a year in a couple months.'

Binder, a senior at Auburn, used similar tactics as Jensen in the women's 800-meter freestyle, taking the lead right from the start and increasing her advantage at each 100-meter split to win in a final time of 8:39.93. USC senior Kalyn Keller, a 2004 US Olympian who was named to the US Open Water national team last month, closed for second place in a time of 8:44.56. Chanelle Watson of Laval University in Quebec placed third with a time of 8:46.09.

'It's a very good time anytime I'm under 8:40,' said Binder, who was 10th in the 800 meters at the 2004 US Olympic trials. 'I'm very happy with it - so nothing but good things.'

The Janet Evans Invitational continues on Friday with the 100-meter freestyle, the 200-meter butterfly, the 200-meter backstroke, the 400-meter freestyle and the 400-meter freestyle relay. Preliminaries will begin at 9 a.m. with the finals at 5 p.m.

Tickets will be available for purchase at the USC McDonald's Swim Stadium for $3 for the preliminaries at $5 for the finals.

2006 JANET EVANS INVITATIONAL DAY ONE RESULTS

Women's 800m Free - 1. Adrienne Binder (Santa Barbara Swim Club) 8:39.93; 2. Kalyn Keller (Trojan Swim Club) 8:44.56; 3. Chanelle Watson (Laval Univ-Quebec) 8:46.03.

Men's 800m Free - 1. Larsen Jensen (Trojan Swim Club) 8:03.49; 2. Fran Crippen (Mission Viejo Nadadores) 8:10.81; 3. Emeric Courteille (French Team) 8:11.12.

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