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

Ryan Lochte’s plane diverted en route to U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials

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OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Ryan Lochte knew there would be obstacles on his way to qualifying for his fourth Olympics. He just wasn’t expecting one while trying to get to the U.S. swimming trials.

Lochte’s plane from Charlotte, North Carolina, was diverted to Kansas City, Missouri, because of an oxygen issue, leaving him and his Swim MAC teammates short of their final destination of Omaha. The plane flew at 10,000 feet until it landed safely.

Then the group found a YMCA pool in which to train, surprising the lifeguards and others who had no idea they were being invaded by Olympic-caliber talent.

“One of the lap swimmers said, ‘Gosh, they’re moving through the water awfully fast,'” Lochte’s coach David Marsh said, “and I was like, ‘Yeah, they’re pretty good.”

The group was supposed to take a bus to Omaha, but Marsh realized that would take too long, so they rented two vehicles to make the trip in three hours. Instead of arriving by mid-afternoon on Thursday, they didn’t get to town until midnight.

“I was in first class, true, but still, it was a long travel day,” Lochte said Friday. “David was always saying to us throughout the year, prepare yourself for the worst, and that’s just one thing that we were able to overcome.”

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Lochte’s next challenge comes Sunday, the opening day of the trials when he competes in the 400-meter individual medley. At 31, he’s the oldest of the event’s 100 qualifiers and comes in with the fourth-fastest time.

“When I was younger I was able to recover a lot quicker,” he said. “I’m definitely going to have to do a lot more recovery after the race than I usually do, just so I can have those great races the next days.”

He won gold in the 400 IM four years ago in London. Only the top two finishers at trials make the U.S. team.

“I enjoy it because you can’t be great in one stroke, you have to be good in everything, and it’s a challenge,” Lochte said. “There’s a lot of young guys up and coming and that definitely will be a good battle.”

Lochte’s main competition in the 400 IM will be Tyler Clary, who just missed qualifying by finishing third behind Michael Phelps and Lochte four years ago. Clary owns the leading qualifying time for these trials.

“My biggest opponent will be myself, just because you have to have a certain mindset when you get up on those blocks,” Lochte said. “If my mindset is right, I’m definitely going to do really well. In the U.S. alone, we have had four or five guys that go under 4:13, so it’s definitely going to be a close race.”

Phelps has dropped the 400 IM from the program for his fifth and final Olympics. In London, he struggled to a fourth-place finish in the event in which he holds the world record.

Lochte toyed with following suit, never confirming until Friday that he would indeed swim the grueling event, even though it costs him precious recovery time for his shorter races later in the eight-day trials.

“I could, but then it wouldn’t be fun,” he said, smiling. “For me, fun is a challenge.”

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

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