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OMAHA, Nebraska, June 26. IN Ryan Lochte-Michael Phelps #2 for this meet, Lochte clipped the hardcharging Phelps for the top seed in the men's 200 free at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials. Lochte is now 2-0 in the Battle of the Titans here in Omaha.
Lochte used a monster third wall to jump ahead of the pack with a leading time of 1:46.25, while Phelps attempt to pick up the win at the touch with a 1:46.27. It doesn't count as the closest Trials finals finish in history, but it matches the .02-second disparity Troy Dalbey used to beat Matt Biondi in finals in 1988, 1:48.35 to 1:48.37.
Lochte's swim jumped him to sixth in the world this year with the finals to come, setting himself up for another Olympic event. He could be putting together a run at some serious hardware at the London Olympics. Phelps' time pushed him to seventh in the world this year, and puts himself in position for his second individual event of the meet as well.
The men's 800 freestyle relay also looked to be in good shape with other swimmers also vying for the top two individual spots, but also relay duty in London. Conor Dwyer, who already made the team in the 400 free yesterday, posted a 1:47.38 for third, while Matt McLean finished fourth with a 1:47.40. McLean is in dire need of making at least a relay after taking ninth in the 400 free two Trials in a row.
Olympic gold medalist Ricky Berens, who helped the 800 free relay to victory in 2008, qualified fifth in 1:47.49, while Charlie Houchin (1:47.69), Davis Tarwater (1:47.91) and Michael Klueh (1:48.09) comprised the rest of the finale. Peter Vanderkaay, who has been on the past two Olympic gold medal winning squads in the men's 800 freestyle relay, missed the finale in 1:48.12.