INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana, June 26. RYAN Lochte finished off a monster double with a win in the 200-meter backstroke at the U.S. Nationals and World Championship Trials. Considering that he basically just started training about six weeks ago after his reality television show obligations concluded, it is amazing what Lochte can do when focused.
Lochte posted a winning time of 1:55.16 this evening, moving to third in the world rankings behind only Ryosuke Irie (1:54.72) and Kosuke Hagino (1:55.12) of Japan. There's no doubt Lochte will be fully prepared and tuned up by the Barcelona World Championships next month.
Reigning Olympic gold medalist Tyler Clary snuck onto the championship roster with a second-place time of 1:55.58. Clary has been equally distracted following the 2012 London Olympics, as he's been focused on an auto-racing career after his swimming career comes to a close. Clary's swim tonight is the fourth best in the world this year now.
Bolles' Ryan Murphy turned in a third-place time of 1:56.37, breaking his personal record of 1:57.39 from last summer's Trials. Murphy vaulted to sixth in the world with his swim. Meanwhile, California's Jacob Pebley nearly made the top three with a fourth-place time of 1:56.73 to grab 10th in the world. That's another demonstration of scary depth. Four of the top 10 times this year are by way of an American.
Machine's Jack Conger (1:56.82), Wisconsin's Andrew teDuits (1:56.83), Sarasota Y's Alex Katz (1:59.47) and Tennessee's Sean Lehane (2:00.10) comprised the rest of the spots in the finale.
PSU's Nathaniel Savoy cracked 2:00 for the first time as he clocked a 1:59.80 to win the B final. That beat his previous best of 2:00.01 from prelims.
Greenwood's Ryan Harty raced to the C final title in 2:02.18, cutting nearly a second off his lifetime best of 2:03.04 from prelims.