Benko Wins Gold, Sets American Record At World Championships

July 24, 2003

Former Trojan great Lindsay Benko won her second gold medal at the 2003 Fina World Championships as part of the United States' second winning relay, this time breaking an American record in the process on Thursday (July 24) in Barcelona, Spain.

Benko, Rachel Komisarz, Rhi Jeffrey and Diana Munz put together the second-fastest 800m free relay in history, posting a 7:55.70, just off the world mark of 7:55.47 (German Democratic Republic in 1987) to take Team USA's second relay gold medal.

Benko's leadoff split of 1:57.41 also secured a spot in the record books, taking down Nicole Haislett's 1992 American mark of 1:57.90 in the 200m free.

'I've been shooting for that record for a long time,' said Benko. 'To do it here in Barcelona - where it was set 11 years ago - is great. This must be a special place for Americans. Missing the world mark (in the relay) is disappointing, but it's the closest we've ever come, so I'm very excited for next year.'

Sophomore All-American Ous Mellouli barely missed earning a finals berth for the second time, this time taking 10th in the 200m IM.

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