Michael Phelps makes 100m backstroke final at Nationals

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IRVINE, Calif. — Michael Phelps will get a third chance to win his first title at the U.S. Championships in the 100m backstroke Saturday night.

Matt Grevers, the Olympic and World champion in the event, was the fastest qualifier in the morning prelims at 53.11 seconds.

Phelps was second to Grevers in their heat at 53.76. Phelps qualified fourth overall into the eight-man final.

Phelps was seventh in the 100m freestyle and second in the 100m butterfly earlier int he meet.

The U.S. Championships are a qualifying meet for the biggest international competition of the year, the Pan Pacific Championships in Gold Coast, Australia, from Aug. 21-24. Phelps qualified for Pan Pacs via the 100m fly and can swim any individual event he wants in Gold Coast.

In other events Saturday, World Swimmer of the Year Katie Ledecky clocked the third-fastest 400m freestyle of all time. She went 3:59.89.

Ledecky, 17, has the American record of 3:59.82. The world record is held by Italian Federica Pellegrini at 3:59.15.

Ledecky has already won the 200m and 800m frees at Nationals. She has already broken the 800m and 1500m free world records this year.

Five-time London Olympic medalist Allison Schmitt did not make the eight-woman final in her final event of Nationals. She is out of Pan Pacs and the 2015 World Championships after failing to qualify for the 2013 World Championships, too.

Olympic and World champion Missy Franklin was the top qualifier into the 100m backstroke final.

Matt McLean was the fastest man in the 400m free prelims, two days after winning the 200m free.

Olympians Micah Lawrence, Jessica Hardy and Breeja Larson were the top three qualifiers into the 100m breaststroke final.

Defending U.S. champion Kevin Cordes was the top qualifier into the men’s 100m breast final.

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