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OMAHA, Nebraska, June 26. MATT Grevers blasted off this morning with a Trials textile best time of 52.94 in the men's 100 back at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials, but held a bit more in reserve to earn the top time in the finale. Grevers checked in with a 53.10 for the best time of the semifinal rounds, and put himself in position to fill the void left by two-time reigning champ Aaron Peirsol's retirement.
Grevers made the Olympic squad behind Peirsol in the 100 back four years ago, clipping Ryan Lochte on the way to second, 53.19 to 53.37. He's already faster than the time it took him to place second then, and has some more room in finals to cut under his lifetime best of 52.82.
David Plummer of Minnetonka earned the second seed out of semifinal two with a 53.24 to move to fifth in the world rankings this year, while SwimMAC's Nick Thoman qualified third in 53.40 for sixth in the rankings. PACE's Ben Hesen raced to the fourth seed with a 53.52, also among the top 10 times in the year this year.
Ryan Murphy, 16, downed his national age group record with a sterling time of 53.76 to also make the finale. His previous best time had been the 54.23 he set during semifinals. Eugene Godsoe (53.88), Kyle Owens (54.18) and Jack Conger (54.51) claimed the rest of the finale spots, while world-traveling Randall Bal just missed the finale with a ninth-place 54.53.