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OMAHA, Nebraska, June 29. WITH Matt Grevers scratching the 200 back to focus on the 100 free, the top two in the men's 200 back is about as much of a lock as any of the events this week at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials.
Ryan Lochte who already won the 400 IM on day one and took second to Michael Phelps in the 200 free, hung out with 16-year-old Ryan Murphy for the first 150 meters before dropping the hammer in the final heat with a 1:55.73. That time shot him to third in the world behind only Ryosuke Irie (1:54.02) and Radoslaw Kawecki (1:55.28), with another swim to come. Tyler Clary, meanwhile, posted a 1:55.88 to match Peter Bernek for fifth in the world to earn the second seed. Clary, swimming with a much freer mindset after tracking down an elusive Olympic berth with a second-place finish in the 200 fly, looked strong in heat one.
Murphy, who hung on Lochte's hip throughout the first 150 meters, fell well back after Lochte sprinted the final 50 meters — finishing third in 1:57.39. Jacob Pebley, placed fourth in 1:58.71, while Rex Tullius took fifth in 1:58.79.
Nick Thoman (1:58.92), David Russell (1:59.66) and Jack Conger (1:59.68) all earned spots in the championship finale as well.
Ryan Lochte — 1:55.73
Tyler Clary — 1:55.88
Ryan Murphy — 1:57.39
Jacob Pebley — 1:58.71
Rex Tullius — 1:58.79
Nick Thoman — 1:58.92
David Russell — 1:59.66
Jack Conger — 1:59.68