World-Herald correspondent Steve Beideck takes a look at Saturday's events at the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials.
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Men’s 50 freestyle (semifinals): Step away to get a burger or T-shirt at your own risk, because these two races won’t take long. After 170 contestants tear through one length of the pool as fast as they can in the prelims, the 16 quickest will move on for a shot at Sunday’s finals. Nathan Adrian now can focus on a sweep of the sprints after winning the 100 free Friday, but Garrett Weber-Gale will be looking to bounce back from his eighth-place finish in that event.
Women’s 200 breaststroke (final): Rebecca Soni set an Olympic Trials record in the semifinals by touching in 2:21.45, so a run at Annamay Pierse’s world record of 2:20.12 isn’t out of the question. A pair of winners in other events — Caitlin Leverenz and Breeja Larson — also are in the field, as is Amanda Beard, who is aiming for a berth on her fifth consecutive Olympic team.
Men’s 200 backstroke (finals): The first swim of a busy 60 minutes for Ryan Lochte is the event in which he’s the defending Olympic gold medalist. Lochte and Tyler Clary were almost two seconds faster than the other six finalists in the semifinals. That’s about the difference the two had over the rest of the field coming into the meet. Sixteen-year-old Ryan Murphy hung for a while with fellow Floridian Lochte in the semis and earned the third seed at 1:57.39.
Women’s 200 backstroke (semifinals): The launch codes are set for Missile Missy to take aim at her next gold medal. Missy Franklin has a seed time of 2:05.10, and the No. 2 seed at 2:07.48 is Elizabeth Pelton, the 18-year-old from Florida in search of her first Olympic bid. Elizabeth Beisel, Bonnie Brandon and Morgan Scroggy are also in the mix for a spot in the finals.
Men’s 200 individual medley (final): You’ve heard this many times this week, but it never gets old — Lochte is in lane 4 and Michael Phelps is in lane 5 in this race. Conor Dwyer, the runner-up in the 400 freestyle, is seeded third, and two of Phelps’ teammates from the North Baltimore Aquatic Club — Chase Kalisz and Austin Surhoff — are seeded fourth and fifth. Yes, Surhoff is related to former major league baseball player B.J. Surhoff — he’s B.J.’s son.
Women’s 100 freestyle (final): This is the final chance of the meet for Natalie Coughlin to qualify for her third Olympic team, but six other swimmers were faster than her in Friday’s semifinals. If Coughlin doesn’t move up at least one spot to earn a shot at competing on the United States’ 400 freestyle relay team, the 29-year-old won’t be traveling to London. Amanda Weir led the way Friday in 54.14, and Franklin wasn’t far behind at 54.19. She was followed by Allison Schmitt, Jessica Hardy, Dana Vollmer and Madison Kennedy.
Men’s 100 butterfly (semifinals): Phelps is the top seed in this event at 50.65, followed by Tyler McGill at 51.26 and Tim Phillips (51.69). Lochte is seeded fifth and will swim in the 12th heat against McGill.