LOS ANGELES - Two-time backstroke world champion Lenny Krayzelburg, the reigning king in the specialty, easily defeated a strong field to win the 200-meter backstroke to highlight the second day of the sixth annual Janet Evans Invitational on Friday (July 16) at the USC McDonald's Swim Stadium in the meet hosted by USC and presented by Speedo.
Krayzelburg, the American record-holder in the event, swam a fast 1:57.68, less than a second off of his U.S. mark (1:56.95) and just more than a second off the world record (Martin Zubero, Spain, 1:56.57). As it was, he topped his own meet record (1:59.82) set in 1997.
Among those he beat were second-place and 15-year old Aaron Peirsol (Irvine Novaquatics, 2:01.90), the youngest person ever to swim under 2:00.00. Brazilian national champion and current USC swimmer Leonardo Costa (Trojan, 2:01.91) was third and Brad Bridgewater (Trojan, 2:02.54), the 1996 Olympic gold medalist in the event, was fourth.
"This was my best in-the-middle-of-the-season swim," Krayzelburg said. "My goal was to swim under 1:58. I usually try to improve each meet of the season and I did it by six tenths. I'm excited because I have been training really hard and I'm looking forward to the next two meets coming up (U.S. Summer Nationals on Aug. 6-10 and the Pan Pacific Championship on Aug. 22-29).
"Pretty much over the last year, I've been in the last 50 (meters) by myself, so I've gotten used to it. My goal is to break the world record. If I do that, it's pretty much going to be me, so I have to race against the time more than anyone else."
U.S. Olympic gold medalist Jenny Thompson (Stanford) cruised to victory in a meet-record time of 55.51 in the 100m freestyle, easily beating second-place Ashley Tappin (Irvine Novaquatics, 57.04) and third-place Joscelin Yeo (California, 57.05).
"I feel pretty good about the race," Thompson said. "I was working on my stroke, which went well. My turn was a little slow. I've been swimming pretty consistently and feel good about this summer. I'm excited about nationals and Pan Pacs. I think I'll drop a considerable amount of time. I like this meet. It's an important meet because it