A slightly watered-down version of the Janet Evans Invitational did little to dampen the performances of several local swimmers.
Kaitlin Sandeno won the women's 200-meter butterfly and 400 freestyle Friday at USC, and Trent Staley and Maureen Farrell won the 200 backstroke events in the U.S. Grand Prix meet.
Sandeno, who will be a junior at USC in the fall, won the 200 butterfly in 2 minutes 9.72 seconds, just off the 6-year-old meet record of 2:09.18. Sandeno, competing without rest, was one second short of her best time.
"I was shocked," said Sandeno, who has the world's fastest time in the 400-meter individual medley this year. "It's kind of scary. My coach asked me, 'How are you going so fast right now?' "
Sandeno wished she had been swimming as fast last summer, when she failed to qualify for the FINA world championships in Barcelona, a meet that has lured many of the top Americans away from USC this week. The back injury that slowed her last summer has healed and Sandeno is looking forward to a strong showing at the U.S. summer nationals.
Sandeno came back to win the 400 freestyle in 4:12.71. The victory made up for Thursday's loss to Arizona's Kayln Keller in the 800 freestyle, an event in which Sandeno won a bronze medal at the 2000 Olympics.
Staley, who will be a senior at USC, won the men's 200 backstroke in 2:02.42, just a second off his career best.
Swimming for Canyons Aquatic Club in Santa Clarita, Farrell defeated a field that included Beth Botsford, who won a gold medal in the 200 backstroke at the 1996 Olympics.
Farrell, a graduate of Mission Hills Alemany High now swimming for the University of Florida, won a tight race in 2:15.73. Lauren Rogers was second in 2:15.82 and Botsford was third in 2:15.92.
Sandeno, Staley and Farrell each qualified for the summer national championships Aug. 5-9 in College Park, Md., and the World University Games two weeks later in South Korea, but they are taking different approaches to the meets.
Sandeno is skipping the World University Games in favor of the national championships, Farrell is doing the opposite and Staley plans to compete in both meets.
Staley said he has become used to swimming in successive meets at the Pacific-10 and NCAA championships the last three years, and hopes to do the same next summer at the Olympic trials and Olympic Games.