U.S. National Championships Predictions, Part Three

By David Rieder

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana, June 24. HAVING already made my picks for the first four days of swimming in Indianapolis – here and here – only six more events remain to finish up the meet on Saturday. Events on the final day include the women's and men's 200 IM, women's and men's 50 free, and the non-Olympic distance races, the women's 800 and men's 1500 free.

When Natalie Coughlin swam a 24.90 in the 50 free in March, she achieved something she had not done since 2008; she had swum a lifetime best time. After falling short of making the Olympic team in any individual events, the now-30 year old put her focus on sprint free events headed into 2013, forgoing even her signature 100 back. Coughlin has never focused on the 50 free and has only once – in 2007 – swam the event at a major international meet. That could change in Barcelona.

Nathan Adrian finished third in the 50 free at Olympic Trials last summer behind Cullen Jones and Anthony Ervin. A month later, Adrian took off more than a half second from his Olympic Trials winning time in the 100 free in winning Olympic gold, leaving fans wondering what he could have done if given the opportunity in the 50. Adrian has another chance now to earn the opportunity to race Olympic champion Florent Manaudou and others, such as Brazil's Cesar Cielo and Australia's James Magnussen, in the 50 free in Barcelona.

When one thinks about the potential for world records to fall this week in Indianapolis, the women's 200 back comes to mind, where Missy Franklin will try to lower the mark she set in London last year. On the men's side, the men's 200 IM presents another chance for a record to fall. Ryan Lochte has only one event on day five, and he holds the world record at 1:54.00. Indy might be a bit early for that record to fall – he will have a better chance in Barcelona – but watch out, as Lochte should have little competition aside from the clock.

Saturday, June 29
Women's 1500 Free
1. Katie Ledecky
2. Becca Mann
3. Chloe Sutton

Women's 200 IM
1. Caitlin Leverenz
2. Elizabeth Pelton
3. Missy Franklin

Men's 200 IM
1. Ryan Lochte
2. Conor Dwyer
3. Tyler Clary

Men's 800 Free
1. Connor Jaeger
2. Michael McBroom
3. Michael Klueh

Women's 50 Free
1. Jessica Hardy
2. Natalie Coughlin
3. Christine Magnuson

Men's 50 Free
1. Nathan Adrian
2. Anthony Ervin
3. Cullen Jones

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