Nationals Day 4: Preview

As we chug along to day 4 of the 2010 National Championships, we’ve had tons of exciting swims so far. The heats of the women’s 800 and men’s 1500 will be swum today, but finals aren’t until day 5, so we’ll discuss those tomorrow.

Top Storylines:

1) Lochte versus Phelps part 2- Lochte and Phelps will have their second of three head-to-head showdowns in the 200 IM on day 4. In the first matchup in the 200 free, Phelps was barely able to touch out Lochte. Headed into the meet, due to a lingering groin injury, it would seem as though Phelps would be the clear favorite. After his incredible performance in the 400 IM though, Lochte is definitely still in this race.

2) Lezak not getting respect- Jason Lezak was the hero of Beijing, after swimming a huge anchor leg to knock off the dreaded French 4×100 relay. Two years later, however, most pundits—including me–aren’t expecting him to even crack the Pan-Pacs team. Will he prove us wrong?

3) Will Hersey Rebound?- Kathleen Hersey (and frankly most of the Texas women’s team) had an absolutely brutal NCAA Championship season. At this meet, however, they’ve shown that they still have the talent to compete with anyone in the nation. Can Hersey, the 2009 World Champion, prove that she’s still the best in the world at this event, despite missing the podium at NCAA’s?

Predictions

Men’s 100 free

  1. Nathan Adrian
  2. Dave Walters
  3. Garret Weber-Gale
  4. Matt Grevers
  5. Ricky Berens
  6. Jason Lezak

Breakdown: Adrian is FAST right now. I don’t think anyone in the U.S. can beat him in this event. Dave Walters is the American record-holder, and should be on the relay squad. After that, it’s a fairly good competition between Weber-Gale, Grevers, Berens, and Lezak for the last two spots. I’m expecting Lochte to scratch this event to focus on beating Phelps in the 200 IM. He may add it back at Pan-Pacs (remember, swimmers can swim as many events as they want), to earn a relay sport for World’s next year.

Women’s 200 fly

  1. Lyndsay DePaul
  2. Elaine Breeden
  3. Tanya Krisman

Breakdown: I was unsure about this one, until I saw DePaul have a great swim in the 100 fly. She’s better in the 200, and I think she’ll surprise some people and grab the win here. There are no huge names after DePaul, but Breeden and Krisman round out my predictions for 3 darkhorses on the podium.

Men’s 200 IM

  1. Michael Phelps
  2. Ryan Lochte
  3. Eric Shanteau

Breakdown: Phelps didn’t look great in his 200 fly. I think he still wins this, but he and Lochte are probably 50/50 at this point (although at his best Phelps will win every day of the week). Shanteau is looking to rebound from a poor performance in the 100 breaststroke, and might have the best IM turns of the bunch.

Women’s 200 backstroke

  1. Liz Pelton
  2. Elizabeth Beisel
  3. Missy Franklin

Breakdown: Liz Pelton and Elizabeth Beisel are both still looking to really break out in this meet. One of them has to take the win here. At the end of the 100 backstroke, Missy Franklin looked like she still had a little left to give. I expect her to finish hard here, and grab another medal.

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder 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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