Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte
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Michael Phelps entered in 5 events at Olympic Trials; Ryan Lochte in 400m IM

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Michael Phelps is entered in five events, and Ryan Lochte is entered in the 400m individual medley, at the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials that start Sunday in Omaha.

Missy Franklin and Katie Ledecky are entered in four and six events, respectively.

Entry lists were published Wednesday. Swimmers can of course scratch out of events they entered, but they cannot enter events for which they are not named on those lists. The NBC broadcast and daily schedule is here.

Phelps is entered in his three signature individual events — 100m and 200m butterflies and 200m individual medley — and the 100m freestyle and 200m freestyle.

Phelps is not believed to have designs on trying to make the Olympic team in the individual 100m or 200m free (by finishing top two in the Trials final). Rather, it’s believed he wants to be included on the 4x100m and 4x200m free relays at a fourth straight Olympics.

Phelps doesn’t have to swim the 100m or 200m free at Trials to be eligible for the relay pools. However, a strong time at Trials (even if in the preliminary heats) would boost his case to be selected for the 4x100m and 4x200m free in Rio, should he make the team individually in any event.

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Lochte is also entered in the Trials 100m free, likely with the same relay-only hopes as Phelps. But the bigger news is that Lochte is entered in the 400m IM, the individual event he won at the London Games.

Lochte has been coy for months about whether he would race the grueling 400m IM at Trials. He hasn’t raced it at a U.S. Nationals or internationally since the London Games.

In fact, Lochte swam it once in an Olympic-sized pool in 2013 and 2014 combined. But he swam it at two domestic meets each in 2015 and 2016, ranking second in the U.S. this year and leading many to predict that he would enter it at the Olympic Trials.

“If you win it at the Olympics, you have to swim it at the next Trials,” Phelps joked in January, alluding to his own late decision to re-add the 400m IM in 2012. Phelps finished second to Lochte in the 400m IM at those Olympic Trials and then a disappointing fourth at the London Games.

Lochte’s events are the 100m and 200m frees, 200m backstroke, 100m butterfly and 200m and 400m IMs.

Also at these Trials, Franklin is entered in the 100m and 200m backstrokes and 100m and 200m freestyles.

Ledecky is entered in the 50m, 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m freestyles and the 400m individual medley, though the 400m IM may be merely a warm-up swim on the first day of competition for the freestyle star.

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Katie Ledecky wins race by 30 seconds, takes back No. 1 ranking

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In her last race of the year, Katie Ledecky ensured she would finish 2019 as the world’s fastest 1500m freestyler.

Ledecky clocked 15:35.98 at the U.S. Open in Atlanta, winning the longest event on the Olympic pool program by 29.97 seconds. Typical for Ledecky, who owns the nine fastest times in history. This one came in at No. 8. Full meet results are here.

Ledecky scratched the 1500m free final at the summer world championships due to illness. Italian Simona Quadarella went on to win that title in 15:40.89, which was the world’s fastest time this year until Saturday night.

“I didn’t have time on my mind at all today. I just wanted to have a consistent swim,” Ledecky, undefeated in 1500m free finals for nine years, said on NBCSN. “That’s probably the best mile that I’ve had in a while.”

The women’s 1500m freestyle debuts at the Olympics in Tokyo. Ledecky is expected to add that to her Rio Olympic individual lineup of 200m, 400m and 800m frees, assuming she is top two in each event at the June Olympic trials.

In other events Saturday, Erika Brown handed Simone Manuel a rare defeat in the 100m freestyle. Brown, a University of Tennessee senior, clocked 53.42 and lowered her personal best by .71 between prelims and the final. Brown moved from sixth to fourth in the U.S. rankings this year, upping her stock as a contender to make the Olympic 4x100m free relay pool via a top-six finish at trials.

Brown previously lowered her personal best in the 50m free on Thursday. She ranks third in the U.S. this year in that event.

Emily Escobedo dealt Lilly King a rare domestic defeat in the 200m breaststroke. Escobedo lowered her personal best by .87 and clocked 2:22.00, moving to seventh fastest in the world this year and remaining fourth among Americans.

In the men’s 200m breast, Olympic champion Dmitriy Balandin of Kazakhstan was beaten by Cody Miller, the Olympic 100m breast silver medalist. Both were slower than their best times this year.

The next significant swim meet is a Tyr Pro Series stop in Knoxville, Tenn., from Jan. 16-19.

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Mikaela Shiffrin runner-up in Lake Louise downhill

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LAKE LOUISE, Alberta (AP) — Here’s a scary thought for her competition: Mikaela Shiffrin is still getting comfortable with the intensity and the speed of the downhill.

That’s why podium finishes are still a little surprising even to her.

The American three-time overall World Cup champion finished runner-up to Nicole Schmidhofer of Austria in a downhill race Saturday. Schmidhofer cruised through the course in 1 minute, 49.92 seconds to edge Shiffrin by 0.13 seconds. Francesca Marsaglia of Italy wound up third.

Schmidhofer has four career World Cup wins, with three of them arriving at Lake Louise.

Known as a tech specialist, Shiffrin is steadily getting up to speed in the speed events. This was Shiffrin’s fourth career World Cup podium finish in the downhill, which includes a Lake Louise win in 2017.

So, does Shiffrin anticipate this kind of downhill success?

“No, no, no,” the 24-year-old from Colorado said. “It’s certainly not normal (for a downhill podium). Even racing downhill doesn’t feel normal. But I feel every year like I have more experience and get more comfortable.”

Shiffrin currently sits at 62 World Cup wins, which ties her with Austrian great Annemarie Moser-Proell for second-most on the women’s side. Lindsey Vonn had 82 wins before her retirement.

“I’m certainly more comfortable with the long skis,” Shiffrin said of downhill racing. “Right now, it’s enjoying it, because speed is a little bit extra for me. My goal is to be able to succeed in speed as well. It’s making the transition and trying to have fun with it.”

Czech Republic skier and snowboarder Ester Ledecka finished fourth Saturday. She was the surprise winner of Friday’s season-opening downhill, which was delayed and shortened by heavy snowfall on the mountain. The race Saturday was restored to its full length.

Next up, a super-G on Sunday.

“It’s always been a little bit tricky for me from downhill skis to super-G skis and to change the timing a little bit,” Shiffrin said. “I’m going to have fun.”

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