Michael Phelps cruised to an 8.68-second victory in the 400-yard individual medley at the Southern California Grand Prix meet Sunday night, flirting with his American record before falling off the pace at Long Beach, Calif.

Amanda Beard, seeking to make her fourth Olympic team at 26, finished third in the 200 breaststroke. It was Beard's first meet since November, when she swam a smaller competition in Seattle.

Phelps touched first in 3 minutes, 38.28 seconds — 2.02 seconds off his American mark set in 2006.