Jensen Sets Meet Record and Swims Fastest American Time This Year in 800 Free

July 12, 2007


USC graduate Larsen Jensen swam the fastest time by an American this year and established a meet record in winning the men's 800-meter freestyle for the second year in a row during Thursday's first day of competition at the 14th annual Janet Evans Invitational at the USC McDonald's Swim Stadium.

Jensen, who set the American record in the event in 2005, finished in 7:53.92, ahead of the 7:54.47 meet record set by Australian Craig Stevens in 2004. The previous fastest time swum by an American this year had been American Peter Vanderkaay's 7:54.37 at the World Championships in March. Jensen's time was also the 10th fastest in the world this year.

Jensen led the entire race but was pushed at the midway point by Chad La Tourette of Mission Viejo Nadadores. Jensen kicked away at the finish by swimming a final 100 meters nearly as fast as his first 100 meters.

'It was probably my best in-season that time I can recall - meet record, can't complain with that,' said Jensen, who was more than 10 seconds faster than the 8:03:49. 'I took some time off after World Championships and allowed myself to get a bit out of shape, I guess you could say. I graduated with my class and enjoyed seeing my friends for the last time in a college environment.'

La Tourette, the 1,500-meter champion at the U.S. Spring National Championships this year, took second in 7:55.52, and Matt Biel of Tucson Ford Dealers Aquatics finished third in 8:13.39. Jensen said that he and La Tourette will train together in Mission Viejo to prepare for the 2008 Olympics. Jensen's next meet will be at the U.S. National Championships in Indianapolis beginning later this month.

Alyssa Anderson, a 16-year-old student at Granite Bay High School in Northern California representing the Sierra Marlins Swim Team, won the women's 800-meter freestyle in a time of 8:45.76, the fourth fastest by an American this year. Anderson won 400-, 800- and 1,500-meter freestyle at this year's U.S. Spring National Championships. At the Janet Evans Invitational, she will compete in seven events, the 800-meter freestyle on Thursday, the 200-meter butterfly and 400-meter freestyle on Friday, the 200-meter freestyle and 400-meter individual medley on Saturday, and the 100-meter butterfly and 200-meter individual medley on Sunday.

'I'm not actually tapered for this meet, and so it wasn't my best time, but it was a pretty good swim,' said Anderson, who will compete next at the U.S. National Championships. 'We've been training through this meet, and soon we'll start to taper and be rested at nationals.'

Finishing second was Ashley Chandler of California Aquatics in 8:47.09, and third was Haley Anderson of Sierra Marlins Swim Team in 8:51.72.

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 are $3 for the preliminaries and $5 for the finals.


Women's 800m Free - 1. Alyssa Anderson (Sierra Marlins) 8:45.76; 2. Ashley Chandler (California Aquatics) 8:47.09; 3. Haley Anderson (Sierra Marlins) 8:51.72

Men's 800m Free - 1. Larsen Jensen (Trojan Swim Club) 7:53.92; 2. Chad La Tourette (Mission Viejo Nadadores) 7:55.52; 3. Matt Biel (Ford) 8:13.39

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