It’s Time for Some Olympic Trials Predictions

By John Lohn

OMAHA, Nebraska, June 24. FINALLY, it's time for the United States Olympic Trials to begin. The buildup for the Trials has been lengthy and the speculation — arguably — overdone. Soon, the results will start to pour in and we'll have a clear picture of who will represent the U.S. at the Olympic Games in London next month.

Although a few things might change based on scratches and tweaks to individual schedules, here are my picks for the week. I've included a third individual for the non-relay-deciding events so you can see who I believe will be knocking on the door. Enjoy what will certainly be a tremendous week.

400 IM (Men)
1. Ryan Lochte
2. Michael Phelps
3. Tyler Clary
NOTE: Just because Lochte is picked to prevail here doesn't mean he's the automatic pick to win in London.

100 Butterfly (women)
1. Dana Vollmer
2. Natalie Coughlin
3. Kathleen Hersey
NOTE: Vollmer has been sensational since last summer's World Champs and is headed for a showdown with Sweden's Sarah Sjostrom.

400 Freestyle (Men)
1. Peter Vanderkaay
2. Matt McLean
3. Conor Dwyer
NOTE: Behind Vanderkaay, any number of athletes could secure the No. 2 slot for the United States.

400 IM (Women)
1. Elizabeth Beisel
2. Caitlin Leverenz
3. Katie Hoff
NOTE: The Florida Gator contingent should drop big time after coming down from heavy workloads, and that group includes Beisel.

100 Breaststroke (Men)
1. Brendan Hansen
2. Eric Shanteau
3. Mark Gangloff
NOTE: Hansen's comeback story gets a little bit better when he checks in with a 59-mid clocking.

100 Backstroke (Women)
1. Missy Franklin
2. Natalie Coughlin
3. Rachel Bootsma
NOTE: A brutally difficult event to pick and I won't be shocked if Bootsma punches a ticket to the Games.

200 Freestyle (Men)
1. Michael Phelps
2. Ryan Lochte
3. Ricky Berens
4. Peter Vanderkaay
5. Conor Dwyer
6. Dax Hill
NOTE: The Americans, not surprisingly, are putting together a dynamite 800 freestyle relay.

100 Breaststroke (Women)
1. Rebecca Soni
2. Jessica Hardy
3. Annie Chandler
NOTE: This might be the easiest event to pick on the women's program.

100 Backstroke (Men)
1. Ryan Lochte
2. Matt Grevers
3. Nick Thoman
NOTE: After missing out on the World Champs last year, Grevers is going to be hungry.

400 Freestyle (Women)
1. Allison Schmitt
2. Chloe Sutton
3. Katie Hoff
NOTE: Anyone sleeping during the morning preliminaries is playing with fire in a tightly packed field.

200 Freestyle (Women)
1. Allison Schmitt
2. Missy Franklin
3. Dana Vollmer
4. Katie Hoff
5. Megan Romano
6. Jasmine Tosky
NOTE: It will be interesting to see how low Schmitt and Franklin will go. Look for 1:54.

200 Butterfly (Men)
1. Michael Phelps
2. Tyler Clary
3. Bobby Bollier
NOTE: As Phelps nears the end of his career, enjoy his final forays in the event that started it all.

200 IM (Women)
1. Caitlin Leverenz
2. Ariana Kukors
3. Elizabeth Pelton
NOTE: Another tightly packed field, which includes a lurking Natalie Coughlin.

100 Freestyle (Men)
1. Nathan Adrian
2. Jimmy Feigen
3. Ricky Berens
4. Garrett Weber-Gale
5. Anthony Ervin
6. Matt Grevers
NOTE: After Adrian, Feigen fulfills the high expectations that were long ago placed on his shoulders.

200 Butterfly (Women)
1. Kathleen Hersey
2. Teresa Crippen
3. Cammile Adams
NOTE: Going with the women who represented the United States last summer in Shanghai.

200 Breaststroke (Men)
1. Brendan Hansen
2. Eric Shanteau
3. Clark Burckle
NOTE: Like the 100 breaststroke, this event should feature a fine showdown between Hansen and Shanteau.

100 Freestyle (Women)
1. Missy Franklin
2. Dana Vollmer
3. Natalie Coughlin
4. Allison Schmitt
5. Jessica Hardy
6. Megan Romano
NOTE: After this event, we'll have an idea of where the United States stands in relation to the Netherlands and Australia.

200 Backstroke (Men)
1. Ryan Lochte
2. Tyler Clary
3. Ryan Murphy
NOTE: This is the first event of a difficult double for Lochte, who will later race the 200 individual medley.

200 Breaststroke (Women)
1. Rebecca Soni
2. Caitlin Leverenz
3. Micah Lawrence
NOTE: A slam dunk for the victory for Soni, the reigning Olympic champ.

200 IM (Men)
1. Ryan Lochte
2. Michael Phelps
3. Tyler Clary
NOTE: Lochte will be coming off the 200 backstroke, making this event that much more difficult. Still…

50 Freestyle (Men)
1. Nathan Adrian
2. Jimmy Feigen
3. Anthony Ervin
NOTE: Can Anthony Ervin and his pure sprinting prowess make an Olympic return after 12 years?

800 Freestyle (Women)
1. Chloe Sutton
2. Katie Ledecky
3. Kate Ziegler
NOTE: Ledecky could be the teenage star of this year's United States women's team.

100 Butterfly (Men)
1. Michael Phelps
2. Tyler McGill
3. Tim Phillips
NOTE: Although at the end of his schedule, Phelps won't be touched. I know: That's hardly a daring statement.

200 Backstroke (Women)
1. Missy Franklin
2. Elizabeth Beisel
3. Elizabeth Pelton
NOTE: The battle for the second position will be terrific.

50 Freestyle (Women)
1. Jessica Hardy
2. Dara Torres
3. Amanda Weir
NOTE: Just a hunch that Torres will again defy age, something she does better than anyone.

1500 Freestyle
1. Chad La Tourette
2. Peter Vanderkaay
3. Arthur Frayler
NOTE: Not a strong event for the American men by any means.