Hardt 14th in 200 freestyle

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Julie Hardt of Carson City swam to 14th place in the women's 200-meter freestyle during the Phillips 66 Summer National Championships on Wednesday.

Hardt, 20, who competes for Reno Aquatics and the University of Georgia, finished in a time of 2 minutes, 2.88 seconds in the B main. Dana Baum of Carson City and Reno Aquatics logged a time of 2:04.36 that was 27th fastest in the prelims and 16-year-old Tara Theilemann of the Carson Tigersharks was 62nd with a time of 2:06.27.

For Theilemann, her time was a personal best and she moved up to 62nd after being seeded 103rd out of 104th in the event.

"She had a good race," Tigershark coach Jim Puleo said. "It was a good swim."

Puleo said he was pleased that Theilemann has been able to lower her time that far from the 2:10 range at the beginning of the year. Puleo also said if Theilemann didn't have a battle with a bout of tonsilitis, he though she could have lowered her time to the 2:03 range.

Natalie Coughlin, 19, of California Aquatics, who set a world record in the 100 backstroke on Tuesday, won the event in a meet record time of 1:58.20.

Lauren Costella of the Tigersharks nearly made an Olympic trials cut in her fourth event during a 200 butterfly time trial on Wednesday. Costella finished in 2:17.67, just missing the Olympic trials cut of 2:16.69. Costella has already qualified for the Olympic trials in the 400 and 800 freestyles and the 400 individual medley.

"It just shows how tough she is, her versatility and her toughness in training," Puleo said.

Costella and Theilemann will have a break from the competition today. Costella is entered in the 800 freestyle on Friday and the 1,500 freestyle on Saturday. Costella is the defending champion in the 1,500 free at summer nationals.

Puleo said he will have Theilemann either do a time trial in the 100 free or 400 free on Friday. Costella and Theilemann are both entered in the national 5,000-meter open water championships on Sunday.


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