tyler clary

Tyler Clary latest Olympic swim champ to miss Rio team, retires

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OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Olympic 200m backstroke champion Tyler Clary bid farewell at the U.S. swimming trials.

Clary is among those who won’t be defending the titles they won four years ago in London.

The 27-year-old finished third in the 200-meter backstroke final, with winner Ryan Murphy and runner-up Jacob Pebley making their first Olympic teams.

“That’s it,” Clary said, dripping wet after his race. “I don’t see any reason to continue. It’s really not a bad thing.”

Clary also failed to make the Olympic team earlier in the week in the 400m individual medley, 200m freestyle and 200m butterfly.

“This last four years has been pretty tough for a number of reasons,” he said. “I’m really happy to have come into this meet and had what I would say is my best performance in the last quad. Sadly, that wasn’t enough.”

Clary plans to visit a go-kart track with his family for the second time before leaving Omaha.

“I’m looking forward to turning a page in the book of my life and starting a new chapter,” he said. “I’m going to get to do a lot of things that I’ve been wanting to do for years now.”

MORE: Natalie Coughlin not retiring after missing Olympic team

Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte go 1-2 in last showdown before Rio Olympics

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OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Matching each other stroke for stroke, Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte surged to the wall in almost perfect sync.

Phelps got there first, just ahead of the guy who’s pushed him hard for more than a decade.

It was like so many races they’ve had before.

There’s one more to go in Rio.

In the latest epic of their longtime rivalry — and billed as the last showdown in their home country — Phelps edged Lochte in the 200-meter individual medley at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials Friday night.

SWIM TRIALS: Video | Results | Broadcast Schedule

“Ryan and I always have a great race with one another,” said Phelps, who plans to retire again after his fifth Olympics. “When we race each other, we bring each other to a different level.”

Phelps led from start to finish, but Lochte was right with him all the way. In fact, he seemed to pull even midway through the final lap, but the most decorated athlete in Olympic history managed to get to the wall in 1 minute, 55.91 seconds.

Lochte was next at 1:56.22 and had no complaints about the consolation prize: his only individual race at the Olympics.

“I knew going into this race it was definitely going to be a dogfight to the end,” Lochte said. “It’s been a long journey, but the journey’s not over. We still have another month to get ready and show the world that the U.S. is number one.”

Lochte, an 11-time medalist, injured his groin on the very first day of the meet, struggled in his next few races and was down to his final chance to get a swim of his own at the Summer Games.

Now, that’s out of the way, which means Phelps and Lochte will get another crack at each other in South America.

As a three-time defending gold medalist in the 200 IM, Phelps will be the favorite.

But he knows Lochte won’t be far behind, especially with a month to get over the groin issue.

“I don’t know of another person in this world who brings out the best in me like he does,” said Phelps, who has 18 golds and 22 medals overall. “Neither one of us likes to lose.”

Phelps and Lochte actually had their first encounter on the way to the deck. Lochte, walking out right behind Phelps, stepped on the back of his sneaker.

“I gave him a flat tire by accident,” Lochte said. “He’s like, ‘What are you doing, trying to mess me up?’ I was like, ‘No, no, no.'”

All was forgiven when it was over, Phelps and Lochte holding up their arms together on the deck while the sellout crowd roared.

It was the end for another defending Olympic champion.

Tyler Clary finished third in the 200 backstroke and called it a career, having missed out on a chance to defend the gold he won in London. He finished behind California Aquatics teammates Ryan Murphy and Jacob Pebley, who earned the two spots for Rio.

Murphy grabbed the lead on the second lap and pulled away to win easily in 1:53.95, completing a sweep of the backstroke events.

Pebley held on for the second spot, touching in 1:54.77 to earn his first trip to the Olympics.

Clary was next at 1:55.33. He clung to a lane rope while Murphy and Pebley celebrated, before swimming over to congratulate them both.

“That’s it,” Clary said. “I couldn’t be happier to be sending Team USA off with two backstrokers that I have a lot of respect for, and I know they are going to represent Team USA well in Rio.”

There was another sweep in the women’s breaststroke, where Lilly King added a 200 victory to her earlier triumph in the 100. The 19-year-old from Indiana won in 2:24.08, while Molly Hannis claimed the second Rio spot at 2:24.39, giving the U.S. team yet another Olympic rookie.

Then again, it wasn’t totally a night for the upstarts.

Anthony Ervin and Nathan Adrian were the top two qualifiers in the semifinals of the 50 freestyle. The 35-year-old Ervin led the way in 21.55, while Adrian was second quickest in 21.60. Both men are already on the team, with Ervin still seeking an individual event to go with his relay duty and Adrian set to defend his 100 free title from the London Games.

Don’t forget Cullen Jones, a silver medalist in this event four years ago. The 32-year-old was third quickest in 21.93.

Katie Ledecky’s bid to add another relay to her Rio program took a big blow when she finished seventh in the 100 freestyle. Abbey Weitzeil (53.28) and Simone Manuel (53.52), a pair of 19-year-olds heading to their first Olympics, earned the individual spots. Olympic veterans Amanda Weir, Lia Neal, Allison Schmitt and Dana Vollmer took the next four spots to put themselves at the head of the 4×100 free relay pool.

Ledecky will likely have to settle for three individual events and one relay at these games. Her sprinting still needs a bit of work.

“I would’ve loved to have gone faster, but I’ll take it,” she said.

Phelps has locked up two individual events for Rio, having already qualified in the 200 butterfly. He returned about 30 minutes after his victory over Lochte to post the sixth-fastest time in the semifinals of the 100 fly.

That was good enough to send Phelps to the final Saturday night — his final event of the trials.

Then it’s on to Rio, where one more race with Lochte awaits.

Missy Franklin advanced to the final of the 200-meter backstroke, giving her a chance to claim a second individual event in Rio.

Franklin won her semifinal heat at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials in 2 minute, 8.63 seconds. She already qualified for the Olympics in the 200 free, while missing out in three other events that she qualified for in 2012.

The only one faster than Franklin was Maya DiRado, who touched first in the other semifinal heat in 2:08.14.

DiRado already swept the 200 and 400 individual medley, and now she’s positioned to claim a third individual race at the first and only Olympics of her career. The 23-year-old has lined up a job and plans to retire after Rio.

MORE: Natalie Coughlin misses Olympic team, not retiring

U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials men’s event-by-event preview

Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte, Nathan Adrian, Cullen Jones
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The top two finishers in all 26 events at the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials will clinch Rio berths, which means Olympic and/or World champions will be left out of the exclusive team.

Michael PhelpsRyan LochteMissy Franklin and Katie Ledecky headline the meet in Omaha, Neb., beginning Sunday.

While they are favorites to make the Olympic team, they will be joined by many more Olympic medal threats.

For relays, the top six finishers in the 100m and 200m freestyles are in line to to make the Olympic team, too.

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PREVIEWS: Men | Women
FIVE KEY RACES: Men | Women

Here’s a glimpse at all 13 men’s events at the Olympic Trials:

50m Freestyle
2012 Olympians: Cullen Jones (silver), Anthony Ervin (fifth)
2015 Worlds: Nathan Adrian (silver), Anthony Ervin (ninth)
Top seeds from entry lists
1. Nathan Adrian (21.37)
2. Caeleb Dressel (21.53)
3. Anthony Ervin (21.55)
4. Josh Schneider (21.80)
5. Cullen Jones (21.83)

Outlook: Adrian, the Olympic 100m free champion, is about as big of a favorite as one can be in a 22-second race. His best time this year is three tenths faster than the No. 2 U.S. man (Ervin). Ervin, the 2000 co-Olympic champion in this event, is bidding at 35 years old to become the oldest U.S. man to swim an individual event at the Olympics since 1904, according to sports-reference.com.

100m Freestyle
2012 Olympians: Nathan Adrian (gold), Cullen Jones (14th)
2015 Worlds: Nathan Adrian (seventh), Jimmy Feigen (20th)
Top seeds from entry lists
1. Nathan Adrian (48.00)
2. Michael Phelps (48.45)
3. Anthony Ervin (48.71)
4. Caeleb Dressel (48.74)
5. Josh Schneider (48.76)
6. Maxime Rooney (48.87)
7. Michael Chadwick (48.87)
8. Ryan Lochte (48.90)

Outlook: Adrian is again a heavy favorite. Dressel may be his biggest challenger, because of Ervin and Schneider’s advanced ages and Phelps and Lochte probably not eyeing the final. The top six are in line to make the 4x100m free relay pool (plus anyone else on the Olympic team is technically eligible). Phelps and Lochte may want to merely post a time fast enough (even in prelims, then dropping out of the event) to be considered for the relay.

200m Freestyle
2012 Olympians: Ryan Lochte (fourth), Ricky Berens (ninth)
2015 Worlds: Ryan Lochte (fourth), Conor Dwyer (ninth)
Top seeds from entry lists
1. Ryan Lochte (1:45.36)
2. Conor Dwyer (1:45.41)
3. Maxime Rooney (1:47.10)
4. Zane Grothe (1:47.11)
5. Reed Malone (1:47.15)
6. Blake Pieroni (1:47.30)
7. Townley Haas (1:47.55)
8. Jack Conger (1:47.62)

Outlook: Phelps is also entered in this event, seeded 14th, but like the 100m freestyle, he probably only has relay designs. Lochte and Dwyer are the clear favorites to make the individual 200m free for Rio. The six-man 4x200m free relay pool, though, will definitely include multiple Olympic rookies.

400m Freestyle
2012 Olympians: Peter Vanderkaay (bronze), Conor Dwyer (fifth)
2015 Worlds: Connor Jaeger (fourth), Michael McBroom (eighth)
Top seeds from entry lists
1. Connor Jaeger (3:44.81)
2. Zane Grothe (3:45.98)
3. Conor Dwyer (3:46.09)
4. Michael McBroom (3:46.69)
5. Clark Smith (3:47.10)

Outlook: With Vanderkaay retired, Jaeger has stepped into the leading role in this event along with his favored 1500m freestyle. McBroom, too, is more well-known for longer distances. While Jaeger and Grothe’s seed times are from 2015, it’s Dwyer who has been the fastest in the U.S. this year by more than two seconds.

1500m Freestyle
2012 Olympians: Connor Jaeger (sixth), Andrew Gemmell (ninth)
2015 Worlds: Connor Jaeger (silver), Michael McBroom (sixth)
Top seeds from entry lists
1. Connor Jaeger (14:41.20)
2. Jordan Wilimovsky (14:53.12)
3. Michael McBroom (14:56.17)
4. Sean Ryan (15:03.82)
5. Clark Smith (15:05.97)

Outlook: Jaeger is a heavy favorite here. Wilimovsky and Ryan already made the Olympic team in the open-water 10km event, which takes place three days after the Olympic 1500m final. There will be added pressure on McBroom if he fails to make the Olympic team earlier at Trials in the 400m free.

100m Backstroke
2012 Olympians: Matt Grevers (gold), Nick Thoman (silver)
2015 Worlds: Matt Grevers (bronze), David Plummer (ninth)
Top seeds from entry lists
1. David Plummer (52.51)
2. Matt Grevers (52.54)
3. Ryan Murphy (52.57)
4. Jacob Pebley (53.57)
5. Eugene Godsoe (53.96)

Outlook: Plummer hopes to make his first Olympic team at age 30. He’s in what appears to be a three-man race for two spots with the Olympic champion Grevers and Murphy, a rising University of California senior. Thoman is not entered in Trials.

200m Backstroke
2012 Olympians: Tyler Clary (gold), Ryan Lochte (bronze)
2015 Worlds: Ryan Murphy (fifth), Tyler Clary (seventh)
Top seeds from entry lists
1. Tyler Clary (1:54.73)
2. Ryan Murphy (1:54.94)
3. Jacob Pebley (1:56.29)
4. Ryan Lochte (1:56.47)
5. Sean Lehane (1:57.11)

Outlook: Clary and Lochte’s seed times are from 2014. Murphy, whose seed time is from this year, is 1.44 seconds faster than the second-best American this year. He is the favorite, even though Clary and Lochte won the last two Olympic titles in this event.

100m Breaststroke
2012 Olympians: Brendan Hansen (bronze), Eric Shanteau (11th)
2015 Worlds: Cody Miller (ninth), Nic Fink (12th)
Top seeds from entry lists
1. Cody Miller (59.51)
2. Nic Fink (59.52)
3. Andrew Wilson (59.65)
4. Kevin Cordes (59.70)
5. Sam Tierney (1:00.15)

Outlook: No American has separated himself as a medal contender in this Olympic cycle, since Hansen’s second retirement. Don’t forget Michael Andrew, who turned professional at age 14 in 2013 and set a personal best of 1:00.37 on Saturday.

200m Breaststroke
2012 Olympians: Scott Weltz (fifth), Clark Burckle (sixth)
2015 Worlds: Kevin Cordes (silver), Nic Fink (10th)
Top seeds from entry lists
1. Kevin Cordes (2:07.86)
2. Josh Prenot (2:08.58)
3. Nic Fink (2:08.89)
4. Cody Miller (2:09.08)
5. Andrew Wilson (2:09.84)

Outlook: Cordes, a 22-year-old who trains in Singapore, finally realized his potential on an international stage by taking world championships silver last year. Prenot was beaten in this event at the NCAA Championships in March but appears to be better in the 50-meter Olympic-sized pool than the 25-yard college pools.

100m Butterfly
2012 Olympians: Michael Phelps (gold), Tyler McGill (seventh)
2015 Worlds: Tom Shields (fourth), Tim Phillips (13th)
Top seeds from entry lists
1. Michael Phelps (50.45)
2. Tom Shields (51.03)
3. Jack Conger (51.33)
4. Tim Phillips (51.49)
5. Ryan Lochte (51.55)

Outlook: The three-time reigning Olympic champion Phelps was actually beaten by Shields in this event at the 2014 U.S. Championships by .01 of a second. But Phelps’ 50.45 at the 2015 U.S. Championships marked the fastest time in the world since 2009. If he’s in form, everyone else is fighting for second place.

200m Butterfly
2012 Olympics: Michael Phelps (silver), Tyler Clary (fifth)
2015 Worlds: Tom Shields (eighth), Tyler Clary (12th)
Top seeds from entry lists
1. Michael Phelps (1:52.94)
2. Jack Conger (1:54.54)
3. Tom Shields (1:55.09)
4. Tyler Clary (1:55.42)
5. Andrew Seliskar (1:55.92)

Outlook: Phelps’ seed time in this event from the 2015 U.S. Championships also was the fastest in the world since 2009, though longtime Hungarian rival Laszlo Cseh bettered it earlier this year. Phelps is ranked sixth in the U.S. in the event this year, so he looks more vulnerable than in the 100m butterfly. But nobody in the U.S. has broken 1:56 this year to scare him.

200m Individual Medley
2012 Olympics: Michael Phelps (gold), Ryan Lochte (bronze)
2015 Worlds: Ryan Lochte (gold), Conor Dwyer (fifth)
Top seeds from entry lists
1. Michael Phelps (1:54.75)
2. Ryan Lochte (1:55.81)
3. Conor Dwyer (1:57.41)
4. Josh Prenot (1:58.38)
5. Will Licon (1:58.43)

Outlook: The times say Phelps and Lochte are in a class of their own in this event — and they have been, winning every Olympic and World title the last 12 years — but at some point the younger generation will pass them. Dwyer, at 27, is closer to Phelps and Lochte’s ages but has looked strong this year. Licon and Prenot went one-two at the NCAA Championships. The 2015 NCAA champion David Nolan and Phelps training partner Chase Kalisz could factor in, too.

400m Individual Medley
2012 Olympics: Ryan Lochte (gold), Michael Phelps (fourth)
2015 Worlds: Chase Kalisz (bronze), Tyler Clary (fourth)
Top seeds from entry lists
1. Tyler Clary (4:09.03)
2. Chase Kalisz (4:09.62)
3. Jay Litherland (4:12.43)
4. Ryan Lochte (4:12.66)
5. Josh Prenot (4:13.15)

Outlook: After taking Olympic gold, Lochte swam this grueling event once combined in all of 2013 and 2014. He raced it more often since the start of 2015 and ranks second in the U.S. this year behind Kalisz, who owns two straight world championships 400m IM medals. Clary is the top seed but hasn’t broken 2:11 since 2014.

MORE: Olympic Swimming Trials broadcast schedule