Day 6 Finals: Michael vs. Ryan in 200 IM (Recap)

It’s time for day 6 of the 2012 US Olympic Swimming Trials in Omaha, Nebraska, and we’ll see another set of 12 Olympic roster spots handed out, tentatively.

The big story of the day will be Ryan Lochte’s triple, with the 200 back and 200 IM finals (the latter of which will be a showdown with Michael Phelps), and the 100 fly semi-final at the end of the session.

Men’s 50 Free Semifinals

The men’s 50 free semi’s was sweet, sweet redemption for the men’s sprint group. In the 100 free, there was some disappointment from around the sport; not in the sense of who made the team necessarily. Everyone was thrilled for those guys, especially the veterans who were largely counted out like Cullen Jones and Jason Lezak. But it was the times.

Those memories will be largely adjusted, if not erased, on the basis of what we’ve already seen in this 50 free semi-final. There were four Americans under the 22-second barrier already, as compared to just one all of 2011 combined.

At the top of the pile was Cal’s Anthony Ervin in a 21.74 from the 2nd heat, which is a lifetime best. Sprinting has changed a lot since he won the gold medal in 2000, but he’ll continue to gain confidence as he keeps putting up times like that in these rounds.

Behind him, tied for 2nd, was Nathan Adrian and the mass-of-muscle that is Josh Schneider from SwimMAC in 21.81.

Jimmy Feigen, who is the big young talent in the sprint freestyles, sits 4th in 21.89. Cullen Jones continues to swim well, and shaved a fingernail off of his semi’s time with a 22.08. He’s still not getting into the finish, but he’ll get one more shot at it.

The big surprise to final is Ohio State’s Jason Schnur. The 21-year old senior took the 6th seed in 22.11. That’s 7-tenths better than he had been coming into this meet. He had a great college season, but has never shown this kind of speed in long course.

Matt Grevers and Adam Small, training partners at Tucson Ford, also snuck in.

Shayne Fleming from Cal continued to improve in this final as he was 10th in 22.35; Garrett Weber-Gale tied for 14th in 22.53. The 2008 relay gold medalist has now officially missed the 2012 team.

Women’s 200 Breast Finals

Rebecca Soni rebroke the Olympic Trials record in this women’s 200 breaststroke with a 2:21.13 to win and take a second swim for London, but never really was in contention for the World Record. She’s got a big challenge for her – she revealed in morning interviews that she makes a conscious decision not to go out too hard, but if she’s not out under 1:08 (she hasn’t been in this meet) there’s no way she can close well enough to go a 2:20 low. It would really be a pretty-big gamble for her gold medal if she pushed for the World Record too hard, based on how she likes to swim her races.

Micah Lawrence has a truckload of talent, but her challenge has always been putting it together at the big race. Not 100% of the time, but more than once it’s happened. She finally got that monkey off of her back today, with a 2:23.03 to place 2nd and make her first Olympic Team. Hopefully now that she’s really broken through with that swim, she will be able to do so again in London – a repeat performance would be medal-worthy.

USC’s Andrea Kropp had a phenomenal swim for 3rd in 2:24.82. She just wasn’t able to get enough of a drop off of her semi-finals time in this race to make the run with Lawrence, but she’s a name that you need to put down on your watch lists for 2016. She’s a phenomenal talent, and feels like a star. With more time spent training with the likes of Soni and Jessica Hardy and Dave Salo, her star will continue to rise.

Texas Laura Sogar was 4th in 2:25.56; she’s finally getting back in her stride with one year to go in Texas. She’s one of those swimmers who will have a tough decision to make after next season about whether to keep training toward Rio, but I would hate to see her momentum end right when she’s making her big moves.

And then there’s the great Amanda Beard. She sounds like she’s ready to get back in and start training for Barcelona next year, but this was at least the end of her run for a fifth Olympic team in 2012, as she finished 5th in 2:25.56. That’s only a few-tenths slower last year, and had a little bit of trouble with her closing speed.

Winner of the 100 Breeja Larson took the race out very fast and led on the first turn, but finished 6th in 2:27.52 – not quite as good as she was in the early rounds. She’s still working on her base to get up to this 200. Minnesota’s Haley Spencer was 7th in 2:27.82, and 2008 third-place finisher Caitlin Leverenz was 8th in 2:28.54.

Men’s 200 Backstroke Finals

Ryan Lochte began his insane triple with a 1:54.54 in the men’s 200 backstroke final. That’s actually still just the number-two time in the world this year, but it’s really hard to get a good feel about how hard he pushed this race.

Tyler Clary couldn’t hold onto his lead at the final turn, where Lochte, who has been so unbelievably good in this meet at just that point, took off and put him away. Still, Clary positioned himself as only the third man in the world this year to go sub-1:55, with a 1:54.88 – which falls second only to his swim at last year’s World Championships as the best textile time of his career.

Nick Thoman, who is underrated as a 200 backstroker, was 3rd in 1:57.06. It was a valiant effort, but he’ll be settled with just the 100 back (once individually, once presumably as part of the medley relay).

The young swimmers couldn’t challenge for relay spots as some had hoped they might in this event, with Ryan Murphy swimming a 1:57.39 for 4th place and shockingly not getting to Aaron Peirsol’s World Record. Still, between him, 5th-place finisher Jack Conger (1:58.97) and 7th-place (1:59.46) the future of the United States look great in this race, regardless of whether Lochte and Clary push-on beyond London.

Women’s 200 Back Semi’s

Missy Franklin cruised through the 200 backstroke semifinal to sit just in the same place as she did after the 100 back semi’s – as the top seed swimming out of lane 4. But this time, she wasn’t as spectacular to get there. The top seed is more based on the fact that the majority of this field is getting fairly tired at this point of the meet.

She posted a 2:07.91 to take the top seed so far.

Elizabeth Beisel took the 2nd seed in 2:08.41, followed by Liz Pelton in 2:08.71. The name not to sleep on has to be Bonnie Brandon, who was the 4th seed in the semi-finals in 2:09.03. She’s been a high school rival of Missy Franklin’s for years and will head to Arizona next year, and is extremely tall. She’s still swum quite a few race, but looks like she’s still a little bit fresher than the other three, which is about a second better than her best time.

The next-fastest, 5th, was Jillian Vitarius in 2:11.96. She had a great first 150 meters, but the last 50 is what separates on these 200 backstrokes.

Men’s 200 IM Finals

Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte squared off head-to-head for the third time of the meet in the men’s 200 IM final, though looking just at the splits wouldn’t tell the whole story of this race.

Phelps led at every turn, but Lochte took that over by about half-a-body-length coming off of the final turn. Phelps closed Lochte down in a scene that looked like a rewind of the closing length of the 200 free. Phelps overtook Lochte coming into the touch to take the score of two-to-one in 1:54.84. Lochte was just behind in 1:54.93, and those are the two best times in the world this year.

The top five are all wrapped up in two teams: Gregg Troy’s Gator Swim Club and Bob Bowman’s North Baltimore Aquatic Club. 3rd-place went to the Gators with Conor Dwyer in 1:58.92, not quite matching his semi-final time, and North Baltimore’s Austin Surhoff (also a Texas Longhorn, in 1:59.58) and Chase Kalisz was 5th in 1:59.87.

Tyler Harris was 6th, Cody Miller was 7th, and Kyle Whitaker was 8th.

Women’s 100 Free Finals

Jessica Hardy, after losing her spot on the 2008 Olympic Team, and finishing 3rd in the 100 free, earned sweet redemption with a 53.96 to win the women’s 100 free. She went out very hard in this race, and though she didn’t close well, she was the only swimmer to crack 54 seconds. Both she and Madison Kennedy set up well for the 100 free, that will begin Sunday morning, with big front-halves.

Missy Franklin scored the other individual spot for her third of the meet (so far) in 54.15. Both she and Allison Schmitt (54.30 for 3rd and a relay spot) were off of their best times (Schmitt has been faster this year even).

In 4th place was Asphalt Green’s Lia Neal in 54.33, meaning that the American relay will have at least two swimmers on it who are going into their senior year’s of high school. Neal is developing a few years behind Missy Franklin, but her potential, at least in the sprints, is every bit as huge.

Amanda Weir made her second Olympic Team after missing the squad in 2008 with a 54.41.

And Natalie Coughlin, at the last moment, got her fingers to the wall with a 54.44.

Dana Vollmer stunningly was only 7th in 54.61; there will be some interesting decisions made about this women’s 400 free relay, both about whether Vollmer gets to swim it at all, or whether she and Coughlin should be on the finals relay. I think that Vollmer should certainly be in the finals.

Men’s 100 Fly Finals

Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte will have one more big matchup in the 100 fly, but in this one Phelps will be a heavy favorite. He posted a 51.35 that is a world-leader this year. Lochte, meanwhile, on his third event of the night, was safely through the semi’s tied for 6th in 52.47.

Meanwhile, Tyler McGill didn’t make a big drop from prelims, but continues to look very good with a 51.88 for the 2nd seed. He had an incredible reaction time coming off of the blocks and swam a very good, very balanced swim.

Behind him are plenty of big names, including Tom Shields in 51.89 (he has a ton of ground to make up off of just a .81 reaction time); SwimMAC’s Davis Tarwater in 51.95 in what he still says is his primary focus for the Olympics; and Tarwater’s teammate Tim Phillips in 52.17.

Eugene Godsoe (tied with Lochte) and Giles Smith (52.52) rounded out the top 8.

Maclin Davis won the battle of the high schoolers over Matt Ellis 53.20 to 53.26; Davis gets more hype than Ellis, but Ellis is having a great meet as well. The two are a bright future for USA sprint butterflying.

Full Results available here.

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bobo gigi
10 years ago

Yes Michael is ready physically for very fast times in London. My only concerns, and it’s crazy to say that about him, are his underwaters. If can improve them at the olympic games he’ll swim much faster.

bobo gigi
Reply to  bobo gigi
10 years ago

If he can improve them at the olympic games he’ll swim much faster.

nostradamus
Reply to  bobo gigi
10 years ago

this is true, lochte has been crushing him off the walls

Kevin
10 years ago

Great 200 medley race just as I expected. I knew it would be a toss up and too close to call. Phelps needs to work the most on his wall transitions between now and London, and hopefully a full taper will naturally make his under waters more powerful. Lochte’s wall transitions were better except for the breast to free turn. I truly think Phelps can drop over half a second just by improving on those walls.

When Phelps comes back to the sport after London (I don’t care what he says and all of you fans out there) he will return, and I have my reasons to believe. Anyways Phelps will come back and focus on the 100s of fly,… Read more »

aswimfan
Reply to  Kevin
10 years ago

Phelps will unretire in 2014 and swim 100s, at least 100 free/fly.

Mark my word.

bobo gigi
Reply to  aswimfan
10 years ago

I hope it. It would be fantastic.

ZYNG43
Reply to  aswimfan
10 years ago

he could probably do well in 100 back too

Daaaave
Reply to  Kevin
10 years ago

I’ve been saying he takes his talents to SoCal after a couple years off and joins Salo’s group. Great location with plenty of extracurriculars, all the resources to sustain a swimming-related career, and a totally different, reportedly more fun training situation.

TX Swimmer
10 years ago

The womens 100 free was very disappointing. I was confident our 400 free relay would take down the dutch this time around. It does not look like its gonna happen.

ZYNG43
Reply to  TX Swimmer
10 years ago

Only one under 54… thats a bummer. but i think missy will be faster. Not sure what happened with Schmitt but hopefully shes under 53.9

gosharks
Reply to  TX Swimmer
10 years ago

I agree, and hopefully I don’t offend anyone here, but its VERY concerning to me that Hardy won the 100 free. She is not known to be consistent, and this means her first swim will be the finals of the relay.

Rafael
Reply to  gosharks
10 years ago

Agreed, both 100 free showed US is not in very good shoes right now.. I would not be surprised.. if US walked out with no gold at all on all freestyle.. even without a silver at most would not surprise me..

Mialuna
10 years ago

Emanuella: Lochte will lose to the greatest of them all. Is not that bad. I believe he will get some gold medals. But Phelps is the greatest ever, no shame in that.

Emanuella
Reply to  Mialuna
10 years ago

I know that and I would never question that. But I thought this was his time.

ZYNG43
Reply to  Emanuella
10 years ago

We will have to wait and see in London. It’ll be exciting!

DDias
10 years ago

Right now, i think 50 free is where (almost) everyone was expecting to be, with CAL guys in the first spots.We will see any surprises tomorrow?
Can Lochte dig a second deeper in 100 fly?

Emanuella
Reply to  DDias
10 years ago

Cielo e Fratus no podium nos 50 em Londres.

DDias
Reply to  Emanuella
10 years ago

It will be a blast!But remember:50 free is detail, dont have room for mistakes.Fratus need a bit more consistency.If he can dig to near 21.5, he will be a medal contender.

Emanuella
Reply to  DDias
10 years ago

I my mind Cielo has gold, he just needs to do what he does, and not mess it up. and maybe he will go for Olympic Record. And Fratus, I think he will be more experienced there, he has de second time in the world right?

DDias
Reply to  Emanuella
10 years ago

If Cielo dont make mistakes and hit a good taper, he will be under 21.30.But Fratus need to control more his races(like usually Cielo does).In Maria Lenk Trophy, he made 21.70 in prelims and 21.76 in final.At Olympics you need to control every step
In 2008, Cielo controled every step: 21.47 in prelims,21.34 in semis and 21.30 in final.

Justin Thompson
Reply to  Emanuella
10 years ago

Going under 21.30 would be unbelievable and even going 21.38 would be remarkable and would get him the gold in that event. In the 100 he’s going to be lucky to medal.

aswimfan
Reply to  Emanuella
10 years ago

50 free is as good as gold for Cielo.
He has the start unmatched by any other sprinter.

Rafael
Reply to  Emanuella
10 years ago

Justin. Cielo already went 21.38 and he said he was not fully tapered, he wants to break his OR again..

TX Swimmer
10 years ago

I am now convinced Missy did not taper for this meet. She will be way faster in london.

Ryan Lochtes IM despite his Loss was quite impressive. He closed in 27.31 faster than MPs 27.48. MPs swim was terrific considering he is not tapered. Ryans breast leg was .5 sec slower than last nights semis likely because of the 200 back. He will likely get second again in London.

Why are folks giving Ryan a bad rap here. He tripled, made the team in 2 events and finals in another event! Dunno if that has ever been done in Olympic trials history. Very impressive!

LJ
Reply to  TX Swimmer
10 years ago

2004. Phelps did 100 fly semis, 200 back finals and 200im finals back to back to back. Top 2 in all 3 I think.

aswimfan
Reply to  LJ
10 years ago

Yep,

Olympics never failed to bring out people who never even heard who tracy caulkins was, and then claimed to be “swimming experts”

Brian
Reply to  aswimfan
10 years ago

^ Haha this.

LJ
Reply to  aswimfan
10 years ago

Tracy Caulkins was one of my heros growing up. Was just trying to answer TX Swimmers’s enthusiasm for the triple with the fact that it had been done before. Did not intend to offend the swimming experts:)

aswimfan
Reply to  LJ
10 years ago

My comment was not directed at you, as you did answer TX Swimmer’s claim perfectly

🙂

bobo gigi
Reply to  TX Swimmer
10 years ago

Totally agree with you about Missy. I repeat that for some days. She’s clearly not fully tapered for this meet. She will swim much faster in London. And I hope she will focus only on backstroke and on relays. She can be very close to the world record in the 100 back and can destroy the world record in the 200 back.

Emanuella
10 years ago

So, So sad for Ryan, God, when will he? love him anyway. Maybe London will be his time. or maybe nor, really sad right now.

Emanuella
Reply to  Paul McCall
10 years ago

he lost again, I’m just sad, sorry didnt mean to make you mad

bond
Reply to  Emanuella
10 years ago

You seem to be forgetting that Lochte set the world record and beat Phelps last year in the 200 im

Emanuella
Reply to  bond
10 years ago

I think the double will kill him there. And phelps is better than he was then. I’m really hoping. I had high hopes for today, now I’m sad.

Craig H
Reply to  bond
10 years ago

Not according to some very vocal people here.

Justin Thompson
Reply to  bond
10 years ago

Without the double no question I think he takes that 200IM, but he’ll need to go a 1:53 or better in that 200m back in London to get gold and then turn around and race Phelps in the 200IM. If anyone can do it, Lochte can, but that’s a tough double on that level of competition. At the trials he had the luxury of knowing that he was a sure thing to finish in the top two and wouldn’t have to dip under 1:54 to do so.

Reply to  Emanuella
10 years ago

No, not mad, I just really didn’t know what you were talking about or who you were talking to, and I decided to post that in a fun way 🙂

Why are you sad for Ryan, he won the 400IM and 200 back. London is all the matters, not here.

He’ll probably lose by more in London though, in the 200IM.

Emanuella
Reply to  Paul McCall
10 years ago

I’m just sad, in my naive mind he was going to get it today. lol

Brian
Reply to  Paul McCall
10 years ago

Except he’s not in the shadow of Phelps. All the athletes know this. All that matters in Olympic Trials is 1-2. Nothing else.

If we cared about media attention and what the press thought of us we’d be playing basketball, baseball, or football. None of them are there because they care what the media might or might not think.

aswimfan
Reply to  Emanuella
10 years ago

Emanuella,
why are you sad?
Lochte made the team in both 200 back and IM tonight, that’s all that matters.

Emanuella
Reply to  aswimfan
10 years ago

I’m really happy that he made the team, but I felt that this was his time, and it isn’t yet. now the press will treat him like a loser again. He deserved the attention that he was getting, and I’m not saying this in a shallow point of view. I’m saying this like a atlete that has woked hard for 4 years and one more time will be in the shadow of another atlete.

Emanuella
Reply to  aswimfan
10 years ago

Brian, your answer I guess was to me and it went up there. LOL
I always felt that the press treated him like nothing, the crazy commentator was screamming his lungs off with that horrible high piched voice all exited for Phelps, like he always does, pretty much ignoring the competion. pisses me off.

I’m sorry that you americans have to deal with him, Brazilian commentator are much better, even though for some reason they are on the Phelps obcession too, but they are not that biased.

Justin Thompson
Reply to  aswimfan
10 years ago

You also have to put it into perspective. Without Phelps these trials are not shown live in prime time, but rather tape delayed and compressed into a 2 hour weekend show. As far as NBC is concerned swimming only matters once every 4 years and if you look at it that way there’s only been one dominant superstar the past 8 years so of course they build this around Phelps. With that being said Lochte will make his mark this year and will be the headliner in 2016 assuming he can keep up this level of swimming. I also expect them to really play up the Phelps vs. Lochte rivalary in London because it’s ratings gold!

Liliana
10 years ago

What was the point of Lochte’s triple again? His coach has lost his mind.

Reply to  Liliana
10 years ago

Medley Relay gold. And why not, the semi was after the 200IM final.

Liliana
Reply to  Paul McCall
10 years ago

There’s no way Lochte can claim a spot in medley relay swimming 100 fly…this is just wasting energy and let me tell you, watching him getting out of that pool after 100 fly was painful, I don’t even wanna think about it how he feels. That’s insanity.

liquidassets
Reply to  Liliana
10 years ago

Why not? If he finished 2nd behind Phelps he could make a case to be on the relay even if he didn’t swim the individual event. And it’s not like he had any real competition in the other two events besides the Clary and Phelps so he really had nothing to lose. That’s why his coach and dad let him do it.

Liliana
Reply to  liquidassets
10 years ago

Lochte has never been a sprinter, in any stroke. How much time can he drop and will it be enough to beat 100 fly specialists? I don’t think so.
One more thing: if you aspire to be one of the best swimmers ever and to do something no one has done before, stretching to reach that second spot in the medley relay (morning swim) so you can claim another gold…well, it’s not what great champions do, in my opinion. Phelps does swim all three relays, but he’s a crucial member of all three of them.

Emanuella
Reply to  Liliana
10 years ago

maybe he wanted to kill the kid. LOL he is trying to get a spot on the medley relay. should have gone for the 100 back final.

aswimfan
Reply to  Liliana
10 years ago

Liliana,
Lochte wants a place in the 4×100 MR so he can boost the number of medals he wins in London.

Mialuna
Reply to  Liliana
10 years ago

Liliana: I agree with you. Lochte has too much on his plate and in London he will get second again. Triple? 100fly you gotta be kidding me. Phelps is the king of the butterfly, lochte will not make top two and will not get a relay spot. I’m rooting for Phelps, I’m a huge fan and so happy he was able to come out on top at trials which is a huge confidence booster. 🙂

ZYNG43
Reply to  Mialuna
10 years ago

If he was 52.2 at the end of a triple like that he can for sure do it

Mialuna
Reply to  ZYNG43
10 years ago

52.25 is not a good enough for a top two….you will see tomorrow.

ZYNG43
Reply to  Mialuna
10 years ago

He went 52.2 at the end of a triple. He’ll be less tired tomorrow with a morning off and only one event

gosharks
Reply to  Mialuna
10 years ago

52.47

ZYNG43
Reply to  Liliana
10 years ago

Troy is a genius. His swimmers do well. He did the 100 fly because he wants to make the prelim medley relay and it was the last event tonight. It didn’t affect any of his other races like the 100 back would have.

Craig H
Reply to  ZYNG43
10 years ago

I don’t think it takes a genius to figure this out…

aswimfan
Reply to  Craig H
10 years ago

Craig H,
lol, but I agree.
even I who swims four times slower than Lochte figured this out.

ZYNG43
Reply to  aswimfan
10 years ago

He’s not going to swim it individually. He’ll be gunning for the morning relay and give the individual spot to 3rd place. It’s really not that dumb all his main events are done and he has nothing to lose

aswimfan
Reply to  aswimfan
10 years ago

yeah, it is not that dumb, and therefore it doesn’t take a genius.

ZYNG43
Reply to  aswimfan
10 years ago

no no i was referring to the comment that he had lost his mind

Liliana
Reply to  ZYNG43
10 years ago

Wasn’t 100 back easier way for him to make the prelim swim ?!

Justin Thompson
Reply to  Liliana
10 years ago

I really think the reason behind the triple was so he could do something that hasn’t been done at the Olympics as far as I know and that’s medaling in two events and swimming a semi the same night. Plus he would like to get 5 individual events like Phelps, but definitely a much tougher route to go. You should take great confidence in what Lochte was able to pull off tonight. He’s defintely ready for London!

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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