By John Lohn
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., March 31. WILL we see a renewal of one of the sport’s best rivalries? Well, that depends on whether Michael Phelps decides to swim the 100 butterfly. The reigning world champ in the 200 fly, Phelps has already opted to bypass that event.
If Phelps does swim the 100 fly, count on another fabulous battle between he and Ian Crocker, the world-record holder. At last summer’s Olympics, Phelps narrowly edged Crocker for the gold medal. A showdown in Montreal certainly would be appealing.
Having changed his training to Club Wolverine, Ben Michaelson will be near the top of the field in the 100 fly. Last summer, Michaelson was the third-place finisher at the Olympic Trials.
With Phelps opting out of the 200 butterfly, invitations to Montreal could go to Michael Raab and Davis Tarwater, who finished third and fourth, respectively, at the Olympic Trials. Raab had an extraordinary career at the University of Virginia and Tarwater captured the title in the 200 fly at last week’s NCAA Championships.
Daniel Cruz, sixth at the Olympic Trials, and Rainer Kendrick are also expected to challenge, along with Gil Stovall.