Soni beats Hardy in Olympic tune-up swim meet



IRVINE, Calif. (AP) — Rebecca Soni beat Jessica Hardy to win the 100-meter breaststroke at the Speedo Grand Challenge, Hardy returned to win the 50 freestyle, and 40-year-old Janet Evans finished fourth in a consolation final of the 400 free on the meet’s opening night Friday.

Soni and Hardy, who both train on the University of Southern California campus, dueled in a likely preview of next month’s U.S. Olympic trials. Soni touched first in 1 minute, 6.57 seconds and Hardy settled for second at 1:06.81 after leading at the halfway point.

Hardy later won the 50 free in 25.11 seconds in one of the final tuneup meets before the U.S. swimming team is chosen at the trials in Omaha.

Evans was third most of the way in the 400 free ‘A’ consolation final before finishing fourth in 4:19.29, slower than her time in the morning preliminaries.