Ryan Lochte Pushes Pace Early To Prevail in 200 Free

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INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana, June 26. OLYMPIC star Ryan Lochte broke through for the 200-meter freestyle national title this evening at the IU Natatorium as part of the U.S. Nationals and World Championship Trials. Lochte threw down a winning time of 1:45.97 after taking the swim out hard. That time pushed him to fifth in the world rankings.

Lochte's former training partner Conor Dwyer, who is now training at North Baltimore, raced his way to second in the event with a time of 1:46.25. That swim pushed him to seventh in the world rankings, and bettered his lifetime best of 1:46.64 from the 2012 Olympic Trials.

Virginia's Matt McLean made yet another international relay, surging to third in the finale with a time of 1:46.78. That swim matched his personal best set at last summer's Trials, but he definitely has more in the tank heading into relay duty on the 800-meter freestyle relay in Barcelona.

IX3 Sports' Charlie Houchin picked up the final guaranteed relay spot with a swift 1:47.36 for fourth-place honors. He's been a bit faster with a 1:46.88 from last summer's Trials as well, and should help Team USA push the pace in the relay in Barcelona.

Longhorn's Ricky Berens will have to hope the roster spots break his way as the addition of the 50 strokes make fifth and sixth less guaranteed to be picked up as he took fifth in 1:47.43. Michigan's Connor Jaeger is in a similar spot with a sixth-place 1:47.60.

Club Wolverine's Michael Klueh (1:47.66) and Michigan's Michael Wynalda (1:48.76) wrapped up the rest of the championship heat finishes.

Clay Youngquist utilized a strong final 50 meters to secure the B final victory. He clocked in with a 1:48.99 for the win, missing his lifetime best by half-a-second. He clocked a 1:48.42 at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials.

Bolles' Caeleb Dressel and Dynamo's Gunnar Bentz put on a show in the C final as the duo tied for the bonus consolation win with 1:49.83s. Dressel broke 1:50 for the first time, lowering his top time of 1:50.47 from prelims, inching closer to Ian Crocker's 15-16 National Age Group record of 1:49.48 from 1998. Bentz also cleared 1:50 for the first time, bettering his lifetime best of 1:50.00 from the 2012 Junior Pan Pacific Championships.