Janet Evans Invitational Day 3

July 14, 2007

-- From USASwimming.org

The Janet Evans Invitational continued with its third finals session Saturday at the University of Southern California's McDonald's Swim Stadium. Jessica Hardy (Long Beach, Calif.), a member of the 2007 U.S. World Championship Team, earned her first individual win of the meet in the 50m free, while Benjamin Wildman-Tobriner (San Francisco, Calif.), the men's 2007 World Champion took second in the event.

In the first event of the evening, Cal Aquatics' Erin Reilly (Sacramento, Calif.) finished first in the women's 200m freestyle, out-touching teammate Dana Vollmer (Granbury, Texas) 1:59.89 to 1:59.95. Ashley Chandler rounded out a sweep in that event for Cal, finishing third in 2:00.55.

Vollmer, a 2004 Olympian and member of the 2007 U.S. World Championships Team, led for most of the race, only to have Reilly overtake her in the final 20 meters.

Reilly will represent the U.S. in August at the 2007 World University Games in Bangkok, Thailand.

'I was concentrating on going out that first 100 and get into my rhythm, and then use that to build into the second half of the race,' Reilly said. 'I knew Dana would be right there at the end, so I just wanted to race that last 50. It was fun to be up (on the medals podium) with all my teammates.'

Scotland's Robbie Renwick took the men's 200m free, finishing with a time of 1:48.60. Tucson Ford's Adam Ritter was second in 1:49.42, followed by Olympian and 2007 U.S. World Championships Team member Klete Keller (Phoenix, Ariz.) in 1:51.41.

Trojan Swim Club's Rebecca Soni (Plainsboro, N.J.) punished the field in the women's 200m breast, finishing more than five seconds ahead of the rest of the heat in 2:25.66. Scotland's Kerry Buchan was second in 2:30.75, while Langley Olympians Swim Club's Chelsey Salli was third in 2:31.33. Five-time Olympic medalist Natalie Coughlin (Vallejo, Calif.), who is experimenting with off-events at JEI, jumped out to a quick start in the 200m breast but faded to fifth, finishing in 2:33.57.

In the men's 200m breast, Australia's Robert McDonald took the top spot in 2:17.71, followed by Trojan Swim Club's Miguel Molina (2:18.87) and New Zealand's Glenn Snyders (2:19.68).

2007 U.S. World Championships Team member Hardy, probably best known for her prowess in the sprint breaststroke events, won the women's 50m free in 25.39. Hardy, representing Trojan Swim Club, touched 14-hundredths ahead of Stanford's Brooke Bishop (Los Altos, Calif.), who finished second in 25.53. Tucson Ford's Courtney Cashion (Irvine, Calif.) was third in 25.65. Both Bishop and Cashion are members of the 2007 World University Games Team.

'I'm elated,' Hardy said. 'I did not expect that at all from this meet. I'm not experienced in any sprint free events. I don't really like swimming the 200 breast, so I'm taking on more sprint events to keep my coaches from putting me in that. So far it's working, and I'm dropping time every time I do it. It's fun, and I'm having a blast with it.'

Nick Brunelli (Mansfield, Mass.) of Sun Devil Aquatics came out on top of a competitive men's field in the 50, turning in a time of 22.49. Stanford's Wildman-Tobriner, the 2007 world champion in this event, and South Africa's Roland Schoeman, the 2005 world champion in this event , finished second and third with times of 22.55 and 22.63, respectively.

Brunelli has spent the last year recovering from a torn labrum, which he injured last summer at the ConocoPhillips USA Swimming National Championships in Irvine. He said after his win Saturday night that his shoulder is now operating at 100 percent.

'The shoulder's an afterthought, really,' Brunelli said. 'There's nothing getting in my way now, and that's a good feeling to have. I haven't had (that feeling) in a long time.'

The women's 400m IM went to New Zealand's Helen Norfolk, who finished more than four seconds ahead of the field in 4:44.57. Aquazot's Lyndsay DePaul was second in 4:48.87, while Santa Rosa Neptunes' Madeline DiRado was third in 4:49.79.

In the final individual event of the evening, Orinda Aquatic's Scott Lathorpe won the men's 400m IM in 4:27.87, edging out Bolles School's Michael Hulme, who finished in 4:28.08. University of British Columbia's Jordan Hartney rounded out the top three in 4:30.38.

The Janet Evans Invitational continues Sunday with the men's and women's 100m butterfly, 1500m freestyle, 100m backstroke, 100m breaststroke, 200m IM and 400m medley relay 200m breaststroke. Prelims begin at 9 a.m., finals at 5 p.m. PT.

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