Engan, Hardt strong at nationals

Carson City's Julie Hardt and Jamie Engan turned in solid performances at the United States Swimming Championships on Thursday at Stanford.

Meanwhile, the struggles continued for Carson High graduate Lauren Costella at nationals.

Hardt, a Carson graduate who completed her career at the University of Georgia this past spring, took sixth in the 200-meter freestyle. Hardt qualified seventh in the preliminaries in two minutes, 04.16 seconds and then moved up to sixth in the finals, finishing in 2:03.45.

Hardt's sister, Kate, another Carson graduate who will be a sophomore at the University of Minnesota, took 33rd in 2:06.62.

Engan, who swims for the Carson Tigersharks and will be a junior at Carson, had an outstanding effort in a time trial in the 400 free, finishing in a personal best of 4:22.65. Engan's time would have been fast enough to qualify for the national championships in the spring if USA Swimming had decided to continue to hold spring nationals.

But USA Swimming has opted to not hold a national meet next spring, instead opting to hold a qualifying meet for next year's World Championships and World University Games.

On Tuesday, Engan had an outstanding effort in the 800 free, taking 24th. Engan swam the first 400 of that race in 4:23.56, but faded somewhat in the second half, finishing in 9:00.14.

"She didn't go out as fast as she did in the 800, but she just packaged it a lot better," Tigershark coach Jim Puleo said. "It was an intelligent swim."

Costella, who also swims for the Tigersharks and will be a sophomore at Stanford, has struggled throughout the summer as she was coming off a subpar performance at the U.S. Olympic Trials. Costella took 43rd in the 400 individual medley in 4:08.71 on Thursday.

The Hardts also swam for Reno Aquatics in the 400 free relay, taking 15th in 3:55.70. Kate swam her leg in 58.93 and Julie swam her leg in 58.77

Today, Costella will compete in the 400 free and Engan will do a time trial in the 200 individual medley. The Hardts are scheduled to swim for Reno Aquatics in the 800 free relay. On Saturday, the last day of the meet, Costella and Engan are scheduled to swim in the 1,500 free and Julie is scheduled to compete in the 50 free and with her sister, Kate, in the 400 medley relay.

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