LOS ANGELES - U.S. National team veteran B.J. Bedford and Stanford All-American Sabir Muhammad both posted meet records and finished the weekend with three titles apiece as they highlighted the final day of the 5th annual Janet Evans Invitational on Sunday (July 26) at the USC McDonald's Swim Stadium in the meet hosted by USC and presented by Speedo.
Muhammad won a pair of events on Sunday, setting his meet record with a 53.97 in the 100m butterfly in addition to his first-place mark in the 100m backstroke (57.23). Muhammad finished ahead of Hillenbrand's Martin Pepper (54.82) in the fly and beat Justin Ewers (57.43) of the Arizona Marlins in the back.
"This was a dress rehearsal for (U.S.) nationals in three weeks and I'm right on track," Muhammad said. "I wanted to come here and swim fast and I did. This meet is very good preparation for nationals (Aug. 11-15 in Clovis, Calif.). There are a lot of very good swimmers here but the competition is not too much where you get stressed out."
Bedford set her meet record in her third win of the weekend by taking the women's 100m backstroke in 1:01.69, a full two seconds ahead of second-place finisher Denali Knapp of Hillenbrand.
"I've had a lot of trouble this summer, between changing teams and deciding whether I would still swim and it seems it's finally working out in my favor," said Bedford, currently training with the Colorado Springs Swim Team. "I just came here to get some competition with some fast people. I just started resting on Monday and this is encouraging to say the least."
Three USC swimmers each posted one win apiece as senior Karen Campbell won the 100m butterfly (1:02.17), sophomore Alexis Binder won the 1500m freestyle (16:43.76) and sophomore Corrie Murphy took the 200m IM (2:20.10).
Campbell led from the start in the fly, edging Wisconsin Aquatics' Gina Panighetti (1:02.93). Murphy, who led the 400m IM with 25 meters to go only to finish third, held a large lead after 100 meters and held off 13-year old Carly Geehr of Rose Bowl Aquatics (2:20.15) for the win.
Binder, who also won the 800m freestyle on Thursday, came from behind in posting a personal best. Golden West's Jamie Cail (16:48.45) led for more than half the race but Binder caught her after 900 meters and led the rest of the way.
Arizona NCAA titlist Ryk Neethling of Hillenbrand, a South African native, easily won the men's 1500m freestyle in 15:26.59, earning his fourth victory of the meet. He missed a meet record by less than half a second.
"I am ecstatic with the swims this weekend," said Neethling, who was participating in his first Janet Evans Invitational. "It's been a really good meet for me." Stanfordâ€°s Gabrielle Rose won the women's 100m breast in 1:12.38, holding off Irvine Novaquatics' teenage tandem of 13-year old Kristen Caverly (1:12.56) and 16-year old Olympic gold medalist Amanda Beard (1:12.61).
Irvine Novaquatics' Steven West won the men's 100m breaststroke in 1:03.52, beating Santa Clara's Tom Wilkens (1:04.80). Wilkens earned his second title of the meet shortly after by taking the men's 200m IM in 2:05.13, edging Sirisanont Ratapong of Mission Viejo (2:05.14).
Hillenbrand's women's 400m medley relay of Denali Knapp, Anna Wilson, Shannon Hosack and Liesl Kolbisen won in 4:17.26. Club Wolverine's men's 400m medley relay of Trevor Runberg, Jeff Flermoen, Tom Malchow and Joe Tristan won in 3:52.19.