9th Annual Janet Evans Invitational Begins Thursday

July 15, 2002

Southern California-based U.S. Olympic and World Championship swimming stars Lenny Krayzelburg (USC alum), Erik Vendt (USC), Lindsay Benko (USC alum), Amanda Beard (Irvine), Chad Carvin (Laguna Hills) and Aaron Peirsol (Irvine) join fellow American standouts like Natalie Coughlin, Tom Wilkens, Michael Phelps and Klete Keller to highlight an all-star cast of participants at the ninth annual Janet Evans Invitational at the USC McDonald's Swim Stadium from Thursday through Sunday (July 18-21).

The Janet Evans Invitational, presented by Speedo, is one of the largest meets in the nation and is part of the United States Swimming Grand Prix Series. More than 600 swimmers will be in competition, featuring club teams throughout Southern California and much of the Western United States as well as teams from Canada, Mexico and New Zealand.

Among the world record holders that will converge on the USC campus this weekend are Krayzelburg (50m and 100m backstroke, long course), Peirsol (200m back, lc), Phelps (200m butterfly), Benko (200m freestyle, short course) and Coughlin (100m and 200m back, sc). Vendt, a senior-to-be at USC, and Coughlin, a junior-to-be from Cal, were the 2002 NCAA Men's and Women's Swimmers of the Year.

Thanks to such a strong field, there are world-class match-ups in many events.

The men's backstroke will include two-time Olympic backstroke gold medalist Krayzelburg (who has been recovering from a shoulder injury suffered in 2001) against the likes of Peirsol, who broke Krayzelburg's 200m back world record, Peter Marshall, a backstroke medalist at the 2002 Short Course World Championship, and Randall Bal, the 2001 World Championships winner in the 50m back.

The men's 400m and 1500m freestyles each will feature the top two fastest Americans ever in the respective events in long course. In the mile, it's Chris Thompson (the American record holder) and Vendt, who happens to own the U.S. record in the event in short course. In the 400m, it's record-holder Keller and Carvin, who has been a U.S. national team swimmer since 1993. In addition, the 400m IM will feature three of the top five fastest Americans ever in Wilkens, Vendt and Phelps.

The women's 100m back will feature three of the fastest seven Americans ever in Coughlin, Beth Botsford and Diane McManus. The 100m breaststroke will see three of the top 10 fastest racing in Stacianna Stitts, Beard and Tara Kirk. The 200m IM includes the second-fastest American ever in Maggie Bowen with the seventh fastest ever in Gabrielle Rose.

The Invitational is named after one of the world's greatest female Olympic swimmers, Janet Evans, who was a four-time Olympic gold medalist and former USC assistant coach.

The meet kicks off on Thursday (July 18) at 5 p.m. with timed finals of the 800m freestyle. Preliminaries will begin at 9 a.m. and finals start at 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday.

Tickets will be available for purchase at the USC McDonald's Swim Stadium each day of the event: $2 for prelims, $4 for finals and $5 for an all-day pass. Children age 6 and under will be admitted free. For more information, call (213) 740-8444.

Janet Evans Invitational Event Schedule

Thursday: 800m freestyle

Friday: 100m freestyle, 200m butterfly, 200m backstroke, 400m freestyle, 400m freestyle relay

Saturday: 200m freestyle, 200m breaststroke, 50m freestyle, 400m individual medley, 800m freestyle relay

Sunday: 100m butterfly, 100m backstroke, 100m breaststroke, 200m individual medley, 1500m freestyle, 400m medley relay

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