INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana, June 25. THE United States can now take a deep breath after witnessing its first 200 fly without the Greatest of All Time Michael Phelps in the event at the 2013 U.S. Nationals and World Championship Trials. While there are still rumors that even Ryan Lochte believes that Phelps will be back for the 2016 Rio Olympics, there is a huge void in the event now being filled by the rest of the nation.
North Carolina's Tom Luchsinger became the person who will take over the reins in the event for the United States, and he proved dangerous in the event with a sweltering time of 1:55.57. That swim shot the Tar Heel into the international stratosphere as it stands fifth in the world. He jumped ahead of Daiya Seto's 1:55.59, and upgraded himself from the World University Games squad. The swim also chopped a second-and-a-half off his personal best of 1:57.01 from the 2011 U.S. National Championships.
Club Wolverine's Tyler Clary, an Olympic gold medalist in his own right, earned yet another international trip with a second-place time of 1:56.58. Look for Clary to put on a show in Barcelona as his best non-techsuited time is a 1:54.93 from the 2012 Olympics. California's Tom Shields turned in a third-place time of 1:57.39 to clear his personal best of 1:58.34 from prelims.
Stanford's Bobby Bollier (1:57.40), NCAP's Andrew Seliskar (1:57.48), Club Wolverine's Dan Madwed (1:57.68), Michigan's Kyle Whitaker (1:58.52) and NBAC's Chase Kalisz (1:58.60) also vied for the national title this evening.
Terrapins' Justin Lynch came through in the clutch to capture the B final of the event when he raced to a 1:58.82. Coming into today, Lynch had never broken 2:00 as he owned a 2:00.97 lifetime best from the 2012 Junior Nationals. Today, he twice lowered that personal record. First, he dropped a 1:59.75 in prelims before winning the B final tonight.
Irvine Nova's Dane Stassi clinched the C final title with a time of 2:01.38, just clipping his previous personal best of 2:01.39 set during prelims this morning. That's his third 2:01 of the year as he has demonstrated some consistency in the stroke after a 2:01.93 at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials.