Lisa Blackburn hit a new national record of 1:11.7. *File photo by Ras Mykkal
Lisa Blackburn hit a new national record of 1:11.7. *File photo by Ras Mykkal
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FRIDAY, MAY 11: Lisa Blackburn and Julian Fletcher set new national swim records in the breast stroke today at the Charlotte Grand Prix in North Carolina.

Ben Smith, national swim coach, said: “This is the sixth meet of the Grand Prix series and once again it has attracted many of the top US swimmers and top non US swimmers alike. 

“With this being the home base of Bermuda’s Roy-Allan Burch, it has become a familiar stop for the season.”

Smith said both Blackburn and Fletcher “were well-prepared, shaved, rested and ready to go. 

“Lisa was first and swam away from her heat finishing in seventh place overall with a new national record of 1:11.7.”

Smith said this puts her one second away from qualifying for the 2012 London Olympic Games.

“She has a great chance in tonight’s final to lower her time and reach the games.”

Smith added: “Julian had a very strong swim where he also won his heat, broke the national record and finished 13th overall which puts him in the B final for tonight.  His time of 1:03.89 brings him closer to the Olympic qualifying time and so he also has a great chance to reach it in the finals tonight. 

“So far this is a great start and I hope that they both can convert these times tonight.”

Both will be competing in the 200m breast stroke tomorrow, and Burch will be competing in the 50m free.