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Thursday, August 4, 2011
Jessica Hardy wins 100 breast

Associated Press

STANFORD, Calif. -- Closing in on the finish, Jessica Hardy didn't think she was going to win. Then she changed her mind and went for the wall.

Hardy outraced Ann Chandler over the final lap to win the 100-meter breaststroke at the U.S. national championships Thursday night.

"It was like a growth. That race has been pretty fragile the last couple years," Hardy said. "To have been mentally strong at the end of the race is something I've been trying to do my whole career."

She touched in 1 minute, 6.81 seconds, well off her world- and American-record time. Chandler finished at 1:07.17 and Ellyn Baumgardner was third at 1:08.20.

"I'm not happy with the time, but I'm really grateful to have a good race," Hardy said.

Earlier, Hardy pulled out of the 50 freestyle, not wanting to double up on events like she did on the last day of the world championships Sunday in China. Later she swam on the 4x200 free relay, and her club team finished eighth.

She said she won't swim the 100 free, having had enough racing in the past two weeks.

"The whole meet is a cruel joke," she said. "It's kind of awful having nationals this close to worlds."

Nathan Adrian won the 50 free at 21.84 seconds, fourth-quickest in the world. He finished fourth at last week's world championships, losing out on the bronze medal by a hundredth of a second.

"The only reason I came back here was my coach and I knew there was more in the tank," Adrian said. "I'm happy I got to come here and swim that time and be a little more satisfied with my season than I was."

Adrian's time here would have been good for silver in Shanghai.

"Quickly," he said, noting how fast it came to mind. "That quickly it's got to exit my mind."

Jimmy Feigen was second at 22.03, followed by Olympian Garrett Weber-Gale at 22.04. Feigen and Weber-Gale train together in Austin, Texas.

"I didn't see that one coming," Feigen said. "I thought I gave all I had this morning. I came in nervous. Garrett really helped me out to keep a cool head."

Feigen finally got the upper hand on Adrian after losing to him at NCAAs and previous nationals.

"I got to be on the lookout. 22.0 is not a joking time," Adrian said. "He's going to be good next year."

Olympian Jason Lezak, at 35 the oldest swimmer in the 10-man final, was fifth.

Cullen Jones finished third in the consolation final, closing out a disappointing season in which he wasn't a factor at worlds.

"I came in this year not in the best shape. It's been a long road," Jones said. "There's a lot that I need to change for next year. I know I can do it."

Elizabeth Beisel won the 400 individual medley four days after winning the world title in Shanghai. She was under American-record pace at 200 meters before finishing in 4:34.78 -- a whopping 3.10 seconds ahead of Maya Dirado.

"It hurt the most," Beisel said. "Definitely glad to get that time under my belt. The crowd definitely helped out a lot on that one."

Lara Jackson won the women's 50 free at 24.98. She failed to make the 2008 U.S. Olympic team, finishing third at trials.

"I feel crazy momentum going into next year," she said.

Madison Kennedy was second at 25.09, and Olympian Kara Lynn Joyce was third at 25.19.

Missy Franklin, the 16-year-old triple gold medalist at worlds, was second in the consolation final at 25.54.

Tim Phillips won the 100 butterfly at 51.69, tying the sixth-fastest time in the world.