Splash - May/June 2012 - (Page 20)

NAtAliE coUGHliN HaRRy HoW/Getty imaGes RYAN locHtE miKe stoBe/Getty imaGes MissY FRANKliN SWiMMerS by Kelsey Savage Hays The HaRRy HoW/Getty imaGes F rom June 25 to July 2, the CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Nebraska hosts the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials. The results will provide up to 26 men and 26 women the highest athletic honor – representing the U.S. at the 2012 Olympic Games. Each of the top two swimmers in every event, plus four more in the 100m and 200m, will punch their tickets to London. But the Trials aren’t some cursory hurdle to overcome to get to the grand finale. Because USA Swimming maintains such a high level of competition and extensive depth (American swimmers hold more than a quarter of all world records), the Trials can be as thrilling as the competition they foreshadow. In 2008, nine world and 21 American records fell over the course of the grueling meet and historic moments abounded. This summer holds as much potential as the best of the U.S. gears up to produce some of their fastest races yet. To make the most of the amazing meet, here’s a guide to some of the swimmers you’ll be sure to be hearing more about come summer. Just remember, one of the best parts about Trials is the unpredictable upsets! tHE MARqUEE NAMEs You’ve heard these names over and over since the last Olympics, but past performance is no guarantee of a spot on this year’s team. Ryan Lochte – At the last Olympics, Michael Phelps overshadowed Lochte as the most versatile swimmer in history. But in the past four years, Lochte captured the world record in the 200 IM and might be poised to grab more, depending on the events he swims at Trials. Based on his success at World Champs, where he took gold in the 400IM, 200 Back, 200 IM, and 200 free, he might be the one with the most medal potential this year. Rebecca Soni – At the 2008 Olympic Games, Soni surprised the world by defeating Liesel Jones, the Australian breaststroke queen, capturing the gold in the 200 breaststroke in world record time. Since then, Soni has dominated the event on the international scene, including winning three gold medals in the breaststroke events at the last two world championships. She’s the favorite in the 200 breast at Trials, but getting a berth in the 100 might be a bigger challenge – cue Jessica Hardy and Annie Chandler among others. Michael Phelps – After his recordbreaking eight gold medals in Beijing, Phelps has cut back on his swimming program. He’s been tightlipped about what he’ll swim at Trials, but it’s difficult to imagine a U.S. team without Phelps holding down both butterfly events, the 200 free and the 200 IM. Natalie Coughlin –The American record-holder in the 100 backstroke will be trying to make her third Olympics this summer. Judging by her bronze in the 100 back and her indispensable leg on the gold-medaling 4 x100 medley relay at last year’s World Champs, she’s in a good position to do it. With 11 Olympic medals already, Coughlin could become the most decorated female swimmer of all time if she gets a chance to swim in London. REtURNiNG vEtERANs With years of experience under their belts, these veterans of U.S. National and Olympic Teams know how to maintain poise under the pressure of big competition. Take Jason Lezak, for example. The oldest member of the U.S. men’s team in 2008, Lezak overtook the Frenchman Alain Bernard in the final 25 meters of 20 splAsH • May/June 2012 • The TRIALS ISSue National team athletes talk about some of the races and swimmers they’ll be watching at trials in this video extra.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Splash - May/June 2012

Splash - May/June 2012
Contents
About Trials...
Mike Gustafson
Swim Briefs/Justin Case
Top Ten Tweets/Point-Counterpoint
Keys to Success
Training With
Athletic Foodie
Olympic Trials Preview
The Swimmers
Rank & File
Third Is No Charm
Repeat Performance
Trials Pressures
Behind the Scenes
The Venue
Alex Meyer
Making the Team
Interactive
Swim Nut Zeke
Ultimate Pump-Up Song
Best Race Ever
America’s Swim Team Athletes

Splash - May/June 2012

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