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U.S. Olympic Swim Trials: Weekend preview

What to watch for Saturday and Sunday
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Posted at 11:12 AM, Jul 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-02 12:12:30-04

What to watch for Saturday and Sunday at the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials. 

 

Schedule of Events: 

 

Saturday:

Prelims – 10 a.m.

Women’s 50m Free

Men’s 1500m Free

 

Finals - 6:45 p.m.

Women’s 200m Back - FINAL

Men’s 100m Fly - FINAL

Women’s 800m Free - FINAL

Men’s 50m Free - FINAL

Women’s 50m Free - Semifinal

 

Sunday: 

NO PRELIMS

 

Finals - 6:45 P.M.

Women’s 50m Free - FINAL

Men’s 1500m Free - FINAL

 

Recapping Friday night

 

In what was billed as the final showdown between two legendary rivals on U.S. soil, Michael Phelps once again bested Ryan Lochte in the 200m IM. Phelps swam 1:55.91 to out-touch Lochte by just over three tenths of a second. The race lived up to the billing, and will likely go down as one of the crowd favorites of the week. Not only did Lochte and Phelps battle to the finish, but they smoked the rest of the field by nearly three seconds. 

 

“Ryan (Lochte) and I always have a great race,” said Phelps. “Him and I have been racing since 2004 together, and, you know, I think when we race each other we bring each other to a different level, we take each other to that next step, and that race especially. I think there is still a lot that I can improve on there. I don't think I swam that race as well as I could have, but we get another chance in a couple weeks.”

 

In the Women’s 200m Breaststroke, Indiana Hoosier Lilly King made it a clean sweep in the discipline on the week, winning in 2:24.08. “I'm pretty excited, being able to represent Team USA in two events is a pretty special thing,” said King. “…I know I'm really going to have to step up my game if I want to medal in the 200.” 

 

Ryan Murphy turned in the second fastest time in the world this year en route to winning the Men’s 200m Backstroke final, swimming a 1:53.95. Jacob Pebley out-touched defending Olympic gold medalist Tyler Clary to claim the second spot. 

 

Abbey Weitzel set a new U.S. Open and long course national meet record in her win in the Women’s 100m Freestyle. She’ll be joined in Rio by Simone Manuel, Amanda Weir, and Lia Neal. Allison Schmitt and Dana Vollmer finished fifth and sixth in the final. 

 

Anthony Ervin leads 50m Freestyle field

 

What a story this could be for Ervin. After sharing Olympic gold in the 50m Freestyle 16 years ago in the 2000 Sydney games with fellow American Gary Hall, Jr., Ervin turned in the fastest time in the semifinals Friday night at 21.55. Ervin’s time was the third fastest in the world this year. 

 

It won’t be easy for Ervin to take the title on Saturday night. Nathan Adrian was just five one-hundredths of a second behind, and theres a least three or four other swimmers the final that could easily win this event. 

 

Michael Phelps in the 100m Butterfly final

 

Don’t be too alarmed by Phelps’ poor showing in the semifinal. He swam 51.83, good enough for just sixth in the semifinals. Keep in mind Phelps had just competed in the 200m IM final a few races earlier (which he won), and only needed to be good enough to make the final. 

 

Phelps in still the class of the field, and will be the man everyone is chasing Saturday night. 

 

Seth Stubblefield has the top seed time entering the finals at 51.26. 

 

Missy Franklin looks to lock up a spot in the 200m Backstroke

 

After missing out on the top two spots in the 100m distance, Franklin will look to rebound and secure a spot in the 200m Backstroke field in Rio. 

 

She was second in the semifinal heats after posting the top time in the prelims, trailing only fellow Olympian Maya DiRado. Franklin holds the world record in this event, and should be among the short list of favorites. 

 

Ledecky in the 800m Freestyle

 

The battle will be for second place here. Katie Ledecky is the world record holder (8:06.68), and was the fastest the preliminaries by a whopping 10.73 seconds over second place Leah Smith. 

 

If anyone besides Ledecky wins in Omaha (or really, in Rio), it would be a massive upset. 

 

Women’s 50m Freestyle wide open

 

There’s plenty of contenders in this race. Madison Kennedy was the quickest in the prelims at 24.52, but Simon Manuel, Abbey Weitzel, Olivia Smoliga, Dana Vollmer, Amanda Weir, and others are all right there. 

 

It should be a great race in one of the last of the weekend.