Three Meet Records Fall on Final Day of Competition

July 15, 2007


Hungarian Olympian Tamas Kerekjarto, U.S. Olympian Dana Vollmer and New Zealand Olympian Helen Norfolk set new Janet Evans Invitational meet records on Sunday at the USC McDonald's Swim Stadium.

USC graduate Larsen Jensen won his third race of the meet, and USC junior Rebecca Soni and Stanford graduate Hongzhe Sun won their second events to highlight the final day of competition.

Former USC swimmer Kerekjarto captured the men's 200-meter individual medley for the third year in a row in 2:02.37, .07 seconds better than Eric Shantau's 2:02.44 meet record set in 2000. Kerekjarto, an Olympian for Hungary in 1996 and 2004, said he is continuing to improve, even at the age of 28, in preparation for the 2008 Summer Games.

'I just proved wrong the theory that a swimmer is too old at the age of 25,' said Kerekjarto, who finished sixth in the 200-meter individual medley at March's World Championships. 'I thought I could only hit my best performances but not overcome those, but the World Championships proved me wrong. That's a very good thing. There's a myth that a swimmer can't perform well after the age of 25, 26, but I don't think that's true. It's a matter of a different approach and mindset.'

Kerekjarto will next race at Hungarian Nationals and then at the Paris Open meet in France that begins on August 2.

Vollmer, a gold medallist for the United States in the 800-meter freestyle relay at the 2004 Olympics and the 2007 World Championships, was in front by more than a second at the halfway stage of the women's 100-meter butterfly and pulled away to win in 58.40 seconds to break the previous meet record of 58.48 seconds set by former U.S. Olympic gold medallist Jenny Thompson in 2000.Vollmer also captured the women's 100-meter freestyle at the Janet Evans Invitational and will now turn her attention to the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis beginning at the end of the month. She has the third-best American time in the women's 100-meter butterfly this year. She said has improved through training with fellow University of California and U.S. Olympian Natalie Coughlin, who has the top American time in the event in 2007.

'It's really good for me to train with someone faster than me and someone who has the best under-waters in the country,' Vollmer said. 'I never used to have under-waters until I went to Cal, and I'm really excited to say I have some under-waters now. It's really good for me to be able to have someone like her to watch to learn from.'

New Zealand's Norfolk, a 2004 Olympian, won the women's 200-meter individual medley in 2:15.04 while swimming the fastest butterfly, backstroke and freestyle legs of any competitor. Gabriel Rose held the previous meet record of 2:15.14 set in 2001. Norfolk's time also set a New Zealand national record in the event. Norfolk eclipsed the time of 2:15.10 set by Natalie Wiegersma at Santa Clara two weeks ago to regain the national record she previously held.

'I had the national record for about three years, and two weeks ago at the Santa Clara meet another girl got it. So this meet I was really going to get it back,' Norfolk said. 'I've been pretty tired, and I've been training really hard. So it was a hard ask, but I did it.'

Jensen, who won Thursday's 800-meter freestyle and Friday's 400-meter freestyle, led from start to finish in Sunday's 1,500-meter freestyle in 15:16.08, 13 seconds ahead of Mark Randall and Robbie Renwick. He also won all three races at the 2006 Janet Evans Invitational.

'It's been a long weekend. I'm excited to be done with this and am excited to get to nationals,' said Jensen, the American record holder in the event.

Soni doubled in the women's 100-meter breaststroke after taking the 200-meter breaststroke on Saturday. Soni clocked 1:07.84, 1.74 seconds ahead of her nearest rival. Minutes later she won the consolation final of the women's 200-meter individual medley in personal-best time.

'I actually like it because I feel warmed up,' Soni said about her busy schedule which also saw her swim a personal-best time in the 400-meter individual medley after winning the 200-meter breaststroke on Saturday. 'I like it maybe because I'm a distance swimmer.'

Soni also helped the Trojan Swim Club relay team that also included Kristen Lahey, Rachael Waller and Jessica Hardy win the women's 400-meter medley relay at the end of Sunday's racing program.

In the men's 100-meter backstroke, Hongzhe Sun of Stanford swimming used a late burst to win in 56.18 seconds. Sun also captured the 200-meter backstroke on Friday in similar fashion, again passing British Olympian Simon Burnett of Tucson Ford Dealers Aquatics in the closing stages. Callum Ng of UBC Dolphins finished third.

'I'm a 200[-meter backstroke] swimmer by nature. So I don't think I have all that much speed, especially when I'm in the middle of training,' said Sun, who is preparing for the World University Games in Bangkok, Thailand, in August where he will swim the 200-meter backstroke. 'It was a good race. I'm feeling a lot stronger now. It's definitely a good sign.'

In the men's 100-meter butterfly, Ben Wildman-Tobriner, the gold medallist for the United States in the men's 50-meter freestyle at March's World Championships, used a powerful kick from lane eight to close from fourth to first in the back half of the race. His final time of 53.47 seconds was .03 seconds off Michael Phelps's 2002 meet record. Wildman-Tobriner topped both the New Zealand and Scottish record holders in the event with Corney Swanepoel of New Zealand second in 53.69 seconds and Todd Cooper of Scotland third in 53.68 seconds.

'The 100 fly for me is an event I like to work on, and I think focusing on events outside the sprint freestyles helps keep me sharp,' said Wildman-Tobriner, who qualified for Sunday's final only after South African Olympian Roland Schoeman scratched out of the race. 'It's fun to swim events that aren't my two main ones.'

Wildman-Tobriner finished second in the men's 50-meter freestyle on Saturday but missed Friday's men's 100-meter freestyle because he was taking the MCAT exam for entrance to medical school.

The women's 100-meter backstroke went to Elizabeth Coster of New Zealand in 1:02.72. Glenn Snyders of New Zealand captured the men's 100-meter breaststroke, giving New Zealanders three victories on Sunday. Members of the New Zealand national team have been training in the United States for three weeks in preparation for the World University Games.

Samantha VandenBerge of Swim Pasadena won the women's 1,500-meter freestyle for the second year in a row. She took the lead at the halfway stage and stopped the clock in 16:51.53 over Joni Zimmerman of Tucson Ford Dealers Aquatics and Sara Sun of Swim Pasadena.

Many of the American swimmers at the Janet Evans Invitational will now turn their attention to the U.S. National Championships in Indianapolis beginning July 31.


Women's 100m Butterfly - 1. Dana Vollmer (California Aquatics) :58.40; 2. Elaine Breeden (Stanford Swimming) :59.63; 3. Kim Vandenberg (Team Bruin) :59.67

Men's 100m Butterfly - 1. Ben Wildman-Tobriner (Stanford Swimming) :53.47; 2. Corney Swanpoel (New Zealand) :53.69; 3. Todd Cooper (Stirling Swim) :53.78

Women's 100m Back - 1. Elizabeth Coster (New Zealand) 1:02.72; 2. Lauren English (Cougar Aquatic Team) 1:03.16; 3. Melissa Ingram (New Zealand) 1:03.34

Men's 100m Back - 1. Hongzhe Sun (Stanford Swimming) :56.18; 2. Simon Burnett (Ford) 56.21; 3. Callum Ng (UBC Dolphins) :57.35

Women's 100m Breast - 1. Rebecca Soni (Trojan Swim Club) 1:07.84; 2. Annie Chandler (Ford) 1:09.58; 3. Jessica Hardy (Trojan Swim Club) 1:10.15

Men's 100m Breast - 1. Glenn Snyders (New Zealand) 1:03.22; 2. Paul Zaich (Stanford Swimming) 1:03.36; 3. Cheyne Bloch (Swim Pasadena) 1:04.16

Women's 200m IM - 1. Helen Norfolk (New Zealand) 2:15.04; 2. Elaine Breeden (Stanford Swimming) 2:17.45; 3. Madeline DiRado (Santa Rosa Neptunes) 2:17.64

Men's 200m IM - 1. Tamas Kerekjarto (Trojan Swim Club) 2:02.37; 2. Simon Burnett (Ford) 2:04.67; 3. Adam Ritter (Ford) 2:04.87

Women's 1,500m Free - 1. Samantha VandenBerge (Swim Pasadena) 16:51.53; 2. Joni Zimmerman (Ford) 16:54.45; 3. Sara Sun (Swim Pasadena) 16:56.42

Men's 1,500m Free - 1. Larsen Jensen (Trojan Swim Club) 15:16.08; 2. Mark Randall (Unattached) 15:29.57; 3. Robbie Renwick (City of Aberdeen) 15:47.71

Women's 400m Medley Relay - 1. Trojan Swim Club (A) 4:13.15; 2. Ford (A) 4:18.37; 3. Ford (B) 4:21.02

Men's 400m Medley Relay - 1. Ford (A) 3:48.49; 2. Ford (C) 3:49.70; 3. Trojan Swim Club (A) 3:52.26

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