Janet Evans Invitational Day One Finals

July 18, 2002

Chris Thompson (Club Wolverine) and Haley Peirsol (Irvine Novaquatics) won the men's and women's 800-meter freestyles (a timed finals), respectively, to kick off the ninth annual Janet Evans Invitational on Thursday (July 18) at the USC McDonald's Swim Stadium in a meet hosted by USC and presented by Speedo. The meet is the last big warm-up before the U.S. Summer Nationals (Aug. 12-17) in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Thompson, the second-fastest American ever in the event, won the race in a meet record time of 8:00.82, just ahead of Korean national swimmer Sung Mo Cho (8:01.40) and Larsen Jensen of Bakersfield Swim Club (8:03.36). Thompson broke South African Ryk Neethling's 1999 meet record of 8:01.36.

'I've never been under 8:04 at this point in the season,' said Thompson. 'This is the first time this season I've gone better than 8:10. I just jumped in and raced. It's a shock to me. This is a very good sign for nationals and hopefully Pan Pacifics.'

Peirsol, only 16, ran away with her race, winning in 8:39.75. Adrienne Binder (Santa Barbara) was second (8:45.79) while Lori Eberwein (Club Wolverine) was third (8:51.87).Peirsol, the younger sister of 200m backstroke world record holder Aaron Peirsol, was pleased with her first effort of the meet.

'It was the best I could do today,' she said. 'I was pretty happy with it. I think it was solid.'

The meet continues Friday through Sunday with prelims beginning at 9 a.m. and finals starting at 5 p.m. each day.

The order of events for the remaining days are as follows:

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, 400m medley relay

See Janet Evans info box at www.usctrojans.com for complete results.

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