U.S. National Championships Predictions, Part Two

By David Rieder

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana, June 23. THE third and fourth days of the U.S. National Championships will bring important races for Olympians such as Jessica Hardy and younger swimmers attempting to make their mark, such as Kevin Cordes. Both will compete in the 50 and 100 breast in Indianapolis, and both enter as favorites in both events. Hardy holds the world record in both events on the women's side, but she didn't qualify to swim the 100 breast in the Olympics last year. Now, with a renewed focus on breaststroke, she will battle Breeja Larson for supremacy in these races.

Meanwhile, the meet has arrived for Cordes to show the world what he can do in the long course pool. After destroying the breaststroke record books at NCAAs, Cordes has the opportunity here to do the same to his previous best times. His current lifetime bests long course – 1:00.47 and 2:10.92 – in the 100 and 200 breast, respectively, don't match up to his NCAA times of 50.74 and 1:48.68. He has never swum under barriers such as 1:00 in the 100 and 2:10 in the 200, but such swims wouldn't be surprising; many in the swimming community expect them.

Ryan Lochte remains in the spotlight, a position he can never avoid. He is entered in four different events on Thursday, swimming all of which would be quite an extraordinary feet. First, he has the 400 IM, an event he appeared to be done with after his Olympic gold medal swim in London a year ago, but he swam a blistering 4:11.36 at the Santa Clara Grand Prix earlier this month.

Lochte could have his hands full in the 400 IM, with two-time World Championships silver medalist Tyler Clary and rising star Chase Kalisz in the field. In that race at Santa Clara, Kalisz put up a 4:11.85, a lifetime best, that sets himself up very well for the race at Nationals. He, Lochte, and Clary could be three of the best in the world in the 400 IM, but only two can qualify to swim the events at the World Championships.

Lochte has also set himself up to make a run at the men's 100 fly that same day, but coming off the 400 IM gives an edge to others such as Tyler McGill, Tom Shields, Tim Phillips, and Eugene Godsoe. The next day, Lochte faces a much lighter schedule and a real chance to attempt to make the team in the 100 back, an event he has not swum internationally since 2007. At last year's Olympic Trials, three men broke 53 in an outstanding race in the 100 back final; with Lochte, this race could be simply epic.

Thursday, June 27
Women's 400 IM
1. Elizabeth Beisel
2. Caitlin Leverenz
3. Maya Dirado

Men's 400 IM
1. Ryan Lochte
2. Chase Kalisz
3. Tyler Clary

Women's 100 Fly
1. Dana Vollmer
2. Claire Donahue
3. Olivia Scott

Men's 100 Fly
1. Tyler McGill
2. Tom Shields
3. Eugene Godsoe

Women's 50 Breast
1. Jessica Hardy
2. Breeja Larson
3. Molly Hannis

Men's 50 Breast
1. Kevin Cordes
2. Mark Gangloff
3. Mike Alexandrov

Women's 50 Back
1. Rachel Bootsma
2. Olivia Smoliga
3. Missy Franklin

Men's 50 Back
1. Matt Grevers
2. Eugene Godsoe
3. David Plummer

Friday, June 28
400 Free
1. Katie Ledecky
2. Chloe Sutton
3. Allison Schmitt

Men's 400 Free
1. Connor Jaeger
2. Conor Dwyer
3. Michael Klueh

Women's 100 Breast
1. Jessica Hardy
2. Breeja Larson
3. Molly Hannis

Men's 100 Breast
1. Kevin Cordes
2. Mike Alexandrov
3. Scott Weltz

Women's 100 Back
1. Missy Franklin
2. Elizabeth Pelton
3. Rachel Bootsma

Men's 100 Back
1. Matt Grevers
2. Ryan Lochte
3. David Plummer

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