Highlights from the conclusion of the US grand prix meets in Omaha and Charlotte and at the Janet Evans International in Los Angeles. US Olympic trials get underway in Omaha at the end of the month. Those results will complete the Beijing form guide.
Janet Evans International: Natalie Coughlin fell just 0.06sec of her world record in the 100m backstroke, in 59.27, and said: 'I screwed up on my finish. I misjudged the wall. It just happens sometimes. At this stage in the game, you don't want to make mistakes. The bright side is it was a fast swim and I still have a lot to improve on.' There's surely a sub-59 in the offing.
The 1,500m in Beijing id beefing up into a bruiser of a race, with Ryan Cochrane (CAN) on 14:50.65 in LA, ahead of Oussama Mellouli (TUN), 14:56.22, and Olympic silver medallist Larsen Jensen, on 14:58.80.
Jason Lezak took the 100m free in 48.84 ahead of Swiss international Dominik Meichtry, at Cal Aquatics, and world champion Brent Hayden (CAN), on 49.03 and 49.09 respectively.
Rebecca Soni led the 200 breaststroke in 2:25.90 ahead of Annamay Pierse (CAN), on 2:26.28, with Soni's teammate Keri Hehn on 2:27.08. Jessica Hardy proved that she has more than a breaststroke string to her bow, clocking 54.87 in the 100m freestyle ahead of Emily Silver (54.94) and Julia Smit (55.13). Peter Marshall took the 100m backstroke in 54.62.
Omaha: Nathan Adrian and Olympic champion Gary Hall, teammates at the Race Club in Florida, led the 50m free sprint at the Qwest Center Omaha, in 22.01 22.20, with Roland Schoeman (RSA) on 22.23 and Duje Draganja (CRO) on 22.24.
Kate Ziegler ended her pre-trials practice with an 8:26.56 win in the 800m freestyle and her key distance freestyle rival in the US, Katie Hoff, clocked a 2:09.95 personal best in the 200m backstroke. The first sub-4:30 400 medley is nigh.
Hoff revealed that she'll be 'probably settling on six events for Trials; freestyles and IM's'. I make it five from 200m to 800m and both medleys but maybe Hoff also intends to make the 4x100m free relay. If so, she joins her former Baltimore training partner Michael Phelps in the realms of those dreaming of and planning for seven visits to the podium.
Without Hoff, the 200m medley in Omaha went to Ariana Kukors in 2:11.68, ahead of Caitlin Leverenz (2:13.88) and Amanda Beard (2:15.43). Darian Townsend (RSA) took the men's equivalent in 2.00.30. World silver medallist Kim Vandenberg clocked 2:08.55 in the 200m butterfly and the men's 1,500m free went to Sergei Fesenko (UKR) in 15:22.46.
Charlotte: Elizabeth Beisel won the 200m backstroke in 2:11.07; Cullen Jones topped the 100m free field in 49.37.