Ferns, Coughlin Set Meet Records at Janet Evans Invitational

July 16, 2006


Lyndon Ferns and Natalie Coughlin set new Janet Evans Invitational meet records on Sunday at the USC McDonald's Swim Stadium.

USC senior Larsen Jensen and former Trojan swimmer Tamas Kerekjarto also won their third races of the meet to highlight the final day of competition.

Tucson Ford Dealers Aquatics' Ferns, a gold medallist for South Africa at the 2004 Olympics, won the men's 100-meter butterfly, an event he only started training for this year, in 52.59 seconds, eclipsing Michael Phelps' 53.44-second meet record set in 2002. Ferns also broke the African record and is now the third-fastest swimmer in the event in the world this year. Roland Schoeman, who finished fourth, held the previous African record of 52.73 seconds set in April 2004.

'That's awesome,' said Ferns, who raised his hands in victory right after seeing his time at the end of the race. 'It couldn't have turned out better. That was the plan for the end of the season, and it happened today. I've only really started to train fly this year.'

California Aquatics' Coughlin won the 100-meter backstroke, her third victory of the meet, in 1:00.19 to beat her own mark of 1:00.52 she set in 2002. She swam the second-fastest time in the world this year, .01 seconds off what she swam last month in Santa Clara. Former USC swimmer Jo Fargus, who won the 200-meter backstroke on Friday, came in second in 1:02.34 with more than a second back to Irvine Novaquatics' Lara Pease in third.

'I'm happy with that time. I didn't really have a time goal. I just wanted to go out controlled and strong and have a good second 50 [meters], and that's exactly what I did,' said Coughlin, whose 31.04 seconds for the final 50 meters was almost a second faster than her competitors. 'I love the 100 back. It's my head event.'

Kerekjarto captured the 200-meter individual medley in 2:03.61 after winning the 200-meter butterfly on Friday and the 400-meter individual medley on Saturday. Kerekjarto was a semifinalist in the 200-meter individual medley at the 2004 Olympics. He now turns his attention to the European Championships in his native Hungary later this month.

'I qualified mainly for the 2 IM [at European Championships] - so it's going to be my main focus,' Kerekjarto said. 'That's my strongest event.'

Jensen followed up his victories in Thursday's 800-meter freestyle and Friday's 400-meter freestyle with a win in the 1,500-meter freestyle on Sunday. Jensen, who holds the American record in the race, clocked 15:17.75 to beat Guillaume Strohmeyer of the French national team and Cho Sung Mo.

'No one in the country has been very much faster - that's encouraging,' Jensen said about his time. 'I could have probably gone a little faster, I think.'

In Sunday's other events, USC senior Kalyn Keller swam a brave race in finishing second in the women's 1,500-meter freestyle after winning a 10-kilometer Open Water race in Santa Barbara earlier in the day.

Keller, a 2004 US Olympian who was named to the US Open Water national team last month, took the lead right away and had a two-length advantage at the 500-meter mark. Yet Swim Pasadena's Samantha Vanden Berge made her move at the halfway stage and reached the lead at the 800. Keller clung with Vanden Berge for the next 300 meters before Vanden Berge was able to pull away for the win in 16:44.54. Keller held on for second in 16:47.58, and Arizona Desert Fox's Alexandra Clarke was third in 16:54.77.

'I woke up at 5:30, and we drove to Santa Barbara,' Keller said. 'I needed to do it to get more experience. I'm swimming at [Pan Pacific Championships]. I've been trying to balance pool and ocean. I looked at it as a challenge.'

In the women's 100-meter breaststroke, California Aquatics' Jessica Hardy, the American record holder and a silver medallist in the event at the 2005 World Championships, won in 1:07.32. Stanford Swimming's Tara Kirk, the winner of Saturday's 200-meter breaststroke, finished a close second in 1:07.65. Qun Wang, a 15-year-old member of the Chinese national team, took third. Hardy was able to avenge a loss to Kirk at the Speedo Grand Challenge in Irvine in May.

In the women's 100-meter butterfly, California Aquatics' Erin Reilly, second to Coughlin in Saturday's 200-meter freestyle passed China's Yanwei Xu in the last 50 meters to win in a time of 1:00.10. Xu, who won a silver medal for China in the 800-meter freestyle relay at the 2004 Olympics, held on for second in 1:00.92 with Santa Rosa Neptunes' Amanda Sims in third.

The men's 100-meter breaststroke went to Stanford Swimming's Chris Ash in 1:03.58. Ash, who had dead-heated for second in Saturday's 200-meter breaststroke with Tucson Ford Dealers Aquatics' Barnes, beat Barnes by .03 seconds. Haibo Wang of the Chinese national team finished third. Irvine Novaquatics' John Criste, the winner of the 200-meter breaststroke, came in eighth in the 100.

In the men's 100-meter backstroke, Stanford Swimming's Peter Marshall led wire-to-wire to win in 55.35 seconds. Wisconsin Aquatics' Adam Mania was second, and Matt Grevers took third.

Wisconsin Aquatics' Yiting Siow, a 2000 and 2004 Olympian and the top swimmer in her native Malaysia, won the women's 200-meter individual medley with a strong move to grab the lead during the breaststroke leg. Her final time of 2:17.29 was 1.20 seconds ahead of Tucson Ford Dealers Aquatics' Whitney Myers.

'When they pick swimmers on the national team and when they see them improving and getting better, usually they will send them to the United States,' Siow, who attends Wisconsin, said about swimming in Malaysia where she holds four national records. 'We just don't have that many great swimmers like a China, United States or Japan.'

Many of the American swimmers at the Janet Evans Invitational will now turn their attention to the USA Swimming National Championships in Irvine beginning August 1. The 2006 Pan Pacific Championships will be held in Victoria, British Columbia, starting August 17. The European Championships in Budapest, Hungary, begin July 26.


Women's 100m Butterfly - 1. Erin Reilly (California Aquatics) 1:00.10; 2. Yanwei Xu (China) 1:00.22; 3. Amanda Sims (Santa Rosa Neptunes) 1:00.93

Men's 100m Butterfly - 1. Lyndon Ferns (Ford) :52.59; 2. Jason Dunford (Stanford Swimming) :53.59; 3. Masayuki Kishida (Ford) :54.17

Women's 100m Back - 1. Natalie Coughlin (California Aquatics) 1:00.19; 2. Jo Fargus (Trojan Swim Club) 1:02.34; 3. Lara Pease (Irvine Novaquatics) 1:03.60

Men's 100m Back - 1. Peter Marshall (Stanford Swimming) :55.35; 2. Adam Mania (Wisconsin Aquatics) :55.75; 3. Matt Grevers (Unattached) :56.04

Women's 100m Breast - 1. Jessica Hardy (California Aquatics) 1:07.32; 2. Tara Kirk (Stanford Swimming) 1:07.65; 3. Qun Wang (China) 1:10.15

Men's 100m Breast - 1. Chris Ash (Stanford Swimming) 1:03.58; 2. Ivan Barnes (Ford) 1:03.61; 3. Haibo Wang (China) 1:04.41

Women's 200m IM - 1. Yiting Siow (Wisconsin Aquatics) 2:17.29; 2. Whitney Myers (Ford) 2:18.49; 3. Jessie Schmitt (North Coast Aquatics) 2:20.32

Men's 200m IM - 1. Tamas Kerekjarto (Trojan Swim Club) 2:03.61; 2. Darian Townsend (Ford) 2:04.13; 3. Timothy Liebhold (Wisconsin Aquatics) 2:04.99

Women's 1,500m Free - 1. Samantha Vanden Berge (Swim Pasadena) 16:44.54; 2. Kalyn Keller (Trojan Swim Club) 16:47.58; 3. Alexandra Clarke (Arizona Desert Fox) 16:54.77

Men's 1,500m Free - 1. Larsen Jensen (Trojan Swim Club) 15:17.75; 2. Guillaume Strohmeyer (French Team) 15:23.59; 3. Cho Sung Mo (Unattached) 15:32.25

Women's 400m Medley Relay - 1. Irvine Novaquatics (A) 4:23.74; 2. North Coast Aquatics (A) 4:23.79; 3. Santa Rosa Neptunes (A) 4:24.31

Men's 400m Medley Relay - 1. Trojan Swim Club (B) 3:51.60; 2. Trojan Swim Club (A) 3:54.21; 3. Old Wesbury Aquatics (A) 4:03.47

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