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OMAHA, Nebraska, June 28. WITH some seriously big names all making the semifinals, a more unheralded name took the top seed as New South's Scot Robison won a head-to-head matchup with sprint stud Nathan Adrian in the men's 100 free prelims at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials.
Robison ripped off a 49.08 for the top seed, just off his lifetime best of 48.98. He first started breaking out internationally in 2009 at the World University Games as a member of the gold medal winning relays in the 400 and 800 freestyle events. Additionally, as a prelim swimmer, he helped Team USA win the world 400 free relay bronze medal at the 2011 World Championships in Shanghai. He's definitely improved since his 2008 Trials performance, which included a 61st-place effort in the 100 free, along with a 15th-place finish in the 200 free.
Adrian, who is the undisputed favorite in the event, checked in with a second-seeded time of 49.17. He previously helped Team USA to a gold medal in the Olympics as a prelim swimmer on the 400 free relay squad. He also finished sixth in the 100 free at the World Championships last summer.
Matt Grevers, who celebrated a textile best in the men's 100 back last night, posted a 49.24 to qualify third. He also served on the 2008 Olympic gold medal squad as a prelim swimmer, before helping the 2009 World Championship relay win a world title in finals. He missed the 2011 Worlds roster before making the Olympics last night.
Texas-related swimmers finished strong as well with Jimmy Feigen (49.29), Garrett Weber-Gale (49.34), Ricky Berens (49.35) and David Walters (49.64) all making semis. Ryan Lochte, meanwhile, cruised into semis with a 49.33. The SwimMAC sprint group fared well as well with Josh Schneider (49.37), Cullen Jones (49.41) and Nick Brunelli (49.63) each making the next round.
2008 U.S. Olympic hero Jason Lezak is back at age 36 with a 49.40 to make semis. Lezak is best known for his epic anchor leg that handed Team USA the men's 400 freestyle relay gold medal in 2008, and secured Michael Phelps a record eighth gold medal as well. Anthony Ervin, who tied for the men's 50 free Olympic gold medal in 2000, and helped Team USA to a silver in the 400 free relay, has returned from a soul-searching retirement at the age of 31 while representing California Aquatics.
Scot Robison — 49.08
Nathan Adrian — 49.17
Matt Grevers — 49.24
Jimmy Feigen — 49.29
Ryan Lochte — 49.33
Garrett Weber-Gale — 49.34
Ricky Berens — 49.35
Josh Schneider — 49.37 (lifetime best)
Jason Lezak — 49.40
Cullen Jones — 49.41
Anthony Ervin — 49.54
Nick Brunelli — 49.63
David Walters — 49.64
Bobby Savulich — 49.72
Matt Ellis — 49.72 (lifetime best)
Alex Coville — 49.76 (tied lifetime best)