World champion Rebecca Soni takes on Trojan teammate Jessica Hardy in the 100m breaststroke at the the Fran Crippen Memorial Swim Meet of Champions at Mission Viejo in California today after both took a win apiece on day two of the season warm-up event.
Olympic 200m champion Soni had watched boyfriend Ricky Berens celebrate his 24th birthday with a 1:48.25 win in the 200m freestyle. The couple slapped hands as Soni took her turn in the water, a 2:24.32 victory in the four-lapper confirming good form two months out from US Olympic trials.
Soni had early competition from Andrea Kropp before pressing on to a commanding win that fell a couple of seconds shy of her world-leading season best set in Austin in January.
"I felt a little sluggish," Soni told AP. "I'm happy with that for now. I kind of waited until the 150 to move my tempo up."
Berens got the better of Tyler Clary (1:48.96) and Matt McLean (1:49.03), all three inside the 2006 meet mark of Canadian Brent Hayden.
"Coming in here this morning I was trying to have a nice smooth morning and I was kind of all over the place, so I really didn't know what to expect tonight," said Berens, winner of the 100m free (49.68) on Friday, after the crowd sang happy birthday to him.
Hardy clocked 25.03 in the 50m free after seconds after taking second in the 200 free behind Trojan teammate and Hungarian medley ace Katinka Hosszu 1: 58.94 to 2:00.57. Hosszu won the 200m butterfly (2:09.79) and 200m backstroke (2:13.50) on Friday, while Hardy took the 100m free (54.45) on the opening day of action.
The Saturday session saw Nathan Adrian set a meet mark of 21.90 in the heats of the 50m free but did not race the final, which went to Joey Hale in 23.16.
Eric Shanteau clocked 2:12.06 to win the 200m breaststroke in the midst of heavy training, while comeback trailer Ed Moses was last man home in 2:21.76, the 31-year-old in the final because 40-year-old Steve West decided not to bother taking up his place.
"Things are starting to come together," Moses told AP. "The bright lights are going to be on soon, so there's only so much time left. I'm doing as much as I can handle. For me, that's kind of exciting that I got to this point after a year. I'm wearing myself down every day knowing that in two, three months from now, you're going to look back and I'm going to close the chapter that was what we call a comeback."