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Soni Extends World Lead On 2:22.22

May 12, 2012  - Craig Lord

Olympic champion Rebecca Soni extended her lead at the helm of the world rankings with a 2:22.22 victory over 200m breaststroke at the Charlotte Grand Prix. Micah Lawrence put in a solid 2:24.62, with Caitlin Leverenz on 2:27.14 but Soni, coached by dave Salo at Trojan, was a class apart.

Soni's was one of several strong in-training efforts on the way to US Olympic trials in late June. The men's 200m breaststroke saw Soni's fellow Trojan Eric Shanteau clock 2:09.72 ahead of former world record holder Brendan Hansen, 2:11.74, and fellow Longhorn Christian Schurr, 2:15.03.

Nick Thoman clocked 53.77 to get the better of Ben Hesen and Eugene Godsoe, respectively on 54.19 and 54.22 in the 100m backstroke, the women's race witnessing a tie, Rachel Bootsma and Elizabeth Pelton on 1:00.25, Olympic champion Natalie Coughlin third in 1:00.83.

 Allison Schmitt held off Katie Ledecky 4:05.40 to 4:05.79 in the 400m freestyle, Chloe Sutton third in 4:07.53, while the winner's Baltimore teammate Michael Phelps wear pipped by China’s Wu Peng 1:56.69 to 1:56.87 in what is likely to have been the last 200m butterfly grand prix race of his career, South Africa’s Sebastien Rousseau, took third in 1:57.54.

“I feel like these are little quizzes,” said Phelps of the Grand Prix events. “They are like little building blocks.”

The women's 200m butterfly went to Kathleen Hersey in 2:08.68 well ahead of Elaine Breeden and Kim Vandenberg, while Tunisia’s Oussama Mellouli clocked 3:50.17 in the 400m free to edge out Charlie Houchin and Connor Jaeger.

In the dash events, Jessica Hardy clocked 24.83 on freestyle, Josh Schneider took the men's free in 22.10, Dana Vollmer set a meet record of 25.80 on butterfly and Matthew Targett (AUS) took the men's fly in a meet mark of 23.11.