BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA, AUG. 13 -- Tom Jager's world record for the 50-meter freestyle highlighted the United States' domination of the first series of finals in the Pan Pacific swimming championships today.
Jager, from Collinsville, Ill., trimmed one-hundredth of a second off the mark held by U.S. teammate Matt Biondi, winning in 22.32 seconds.
Biondi, who equalled his record at the U.S. national championships in Fresno, Calif., was second in 22.61, with Australian Andrew Baildon third in 23.45.
U.S. swimmers won six of the eight finals today, but Jager's victory in the last race was the highlight.
"I usually don't get excited, but this is great," said Jager, a former 50 freestyle world record holder and gold medalist at the world championships in Madrid last year.
Jager, a UCLA graduate, has been a world-class swimmer for the past eight years and has an intense rivalry with Biondi.
Other U.S. winners included Anna Pettis-Scott, who won the women's 50-meter freestyle in 26.16; Melvin Stewart (men's 200 butterfly, 1:58.05), and Kelley Davies (women's 200 butterfly, 2:12.51).
Americans also won both 200 freestyle finals. Mitzi Kremer won the women's event in 2:01.34, with Craig Oppel winning the men's in 1:49.12.
The run of American successes was interrupted by Australian Nicole Livingstone and Canadian Mark Tewksbury, who set commonwealth records in winning their respective 100-meter backstroke titles.
Livingstone finished in 1:02.64; Tewksbury was timed in 55.89.
Both broke their own marks, with Livingstone breaking the commonwealth record of 1:03.16 she had set in qualifying earlier in the day.
Jager, 22, said setting a world record was fulfilling.
"I dream about this every night," he said. "If you don't dream about it, you don't get it. I didn't get a great start, which is usually the most critical part of the race, so I just decided to outswim Biondi."
Jager dedicated his win to his wife Becky, who was unable to fly to Australia for the event because of business commitments.
"She's paid my way for the last 13 months," Jager said. "She's been really supportive both financially and mentally."
Stewart, 18, a two-time U.S. national champion, outpaced his rivals in the men's 200-meter butterfly.
The Goodwill Games gold medalist in Moscow last year and a student at Mercersburg Academy in Pennsylvania, Stewart finished almost a minute in front of second-place Canadian Tom Ponting.
Ponting clocked 1:58.99, with Australian David Wilson third in 1:59.06.
"That was my best time by eight-hundredths of a second," said Stewart. "It hurt a lot more than the last one."