Nov. 30, 2007
Atlanta, Ga. -
Two American records fell Thursday night at the ConocoPhillips USA Swimming Short Course National Championships.
Olympian Ryan Lochte of Daytona Beach Swimming took down the first in the men's 200-yard IM, beating rival Michael Phelps to the wall with a time of 1:40.08. One event later, former Cal Golden Bear Natalie Coughlin took to the blocks to shatter the mark in the women's 50y free in 21.46.
Lochte's final time in the 200y IM was .47 seconds faster than the previous record of 1:40.55, which Lochte set in March of 2006. It also marked the first of two wins Thursday for Lochte, who came out on top of a tight field in the men's 50y free in 19.31, just out-touching Olympian Jason Lezak (19.35) and Auburn's Bryan Lundquist (19.39).
Coughlin, meanwhile, used her signature underwater abilities to overpower the rest of the field in the women's 50 and break the previous record of 21.63, set by Kara Lynn Joyce in 2006, by nearly two-tenths of a second.
"With all the swimmers out there, they create a lot waves, so I wanted to stay underwater as long as possible," Coughlin said. "It's really encouraging and gives me a lot of confidence to know I'm getting better."
Current Bear athletes are also making positive advances in the four-day event. Senior Lauren Rogers placed sixth in the preliminaries in the 100 back with a time of 53.69. Lauren Boyle touched the wall in 12th place in the 200 free with a time of 1:47.52, while Dana Vollmer (1:47.88) and Madison Kennedy (1:48.39) finished 16th and 19th respectively in the 200 as well. Heather White grabbed a 14th place finish in the 400 IM with a time of 4:16.47.
Action from Atlanta continues through Saturday. Fans can follow all of the action via the USA Swimming website at usaswimming.org.