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Shanteau fourth in 100 breast

OMAHA, Neb. - Brendan Hansen looked at the time, stared at the water, then shook his head slightly.

America's best breaststroker knew he was heading back to the Olympics, but he wasn't too thrilled about claiming the prized spot with a time far off his world record.

Hansen won the 100-meter breaststroke at the U.S. Olympic trials on Monday night with a time of 59.93 seconds - eight-tenths of a second behind the mark he set two years ago.

Considering two world records were shattered Sunday on the meet's first day, and two more fell in Monday's morning preliminaries, Hansen's showing was a big letdown for a near-sellout crowd at the Qwest Center.

'I'm a little disappointed at the time,' Hansen said. 'I was a little nervous coming in. I wanted to secure my spot on the team.'

Parkview grad Eric Shanteau fell short of making the Olympics in the 100 breast, placing fourth in 1:00.72, slightly slower than his personal-best of 1:00.63 in the semifinals.

Shanteau still has shots at qualifying in the 200 breast, his best event where he's seeded second, and in the 200 individual medley. He sat out the 400 IM on Sunday to focus on the 100 breast.

His former Parkview teammate, John Millen, placed 75th in the 200 freestyle (1:53.95) on Monday. He was 45th in the 400 free (3:58.47) on Sunday. Millen plans to retire from swimming after trials to pursue a career in education.

Katie Hoff made it 2-for-2 at the trials, rallying over the final three laps to win the 400 freestyle just one night after she bumped off the world record in the 400 individual medley.

The 19-year-old from Baltimore was the first trials swimmer to earn a second race in Beijing. But she's just getting started, planning to swim four more events in a program that is just slightly less ambitious than Michael Phelps.

Speaking of Phelps, he cruised through the prelims and semifinals of the 200 freestyle and headed into tonight's final facing another showdown with friend and rival Ryan Lochte.

Lochte was the fastest qualifier at 1:45.61, with Phelps right on his heels at 1:45.64. Look for another memorable race after they both went under the old world record in the 400 IM, with Phelps holding off Lochte in the lunge for the wall.

Lochte had a busy day, also qualifying for the final of the 100 backstroke.

Christine Magnuson won Monday's other final, claiming her first trip to the Olympics with a win in the 100 butterfly. The victory was aided by Natalie Coughlin's decision not to swim the event at these trials even though she held the American record.

'She's a great swimmer,' said Magnuson, whose winning time of 58.11 was well off Coughlin's mark of 57.34. 'It really opened up an opportunity for the rest of the field.'

Coughlin was focused on the 100 backstroke, reclaiming her world record during the morning prelims - about 2 minutes after Hayley McGregory took it away during the previous heat.

McGregory touched in 59.15, breaking Coughlin's 41/2-month-old standard of 59.21. A little perturbed that someone had taken her mark, Coughlin went out and won her heat in 59.03, the 42nd world record set this year in Speedo's revolutionary LZR Racer suit.

Neither went as fast in the evening semifinals but easily locked up their spot in the race that counts.

Hansen didn't even swim as fast as he did in Sunday's semis, when he put up a time of 59.24 that was just off his world record of 59.13.

After that effort, Hansen stared confidently at the scoreboard, as though it would be no trouble to knock off the rest of the time. Instead, he got off to a sluggish start, making the turn already 36-hundredths off his record pace.

Hansen couldn't make it up on the return lap, though he was the only swimmer to break a minute. Mark Gangloff claimed the likely second spot on the team at 1:00.42 seconds.

'I was expecting a world record,' Hansen said. 'Someone upstairs didn't want me to do it tonight, but someone upstairs will want me to do it in a few weeks' at Beijing.