Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Sports

Ryan Lochte edges Michael Phelps in 400 IM at trials; both clinch spots in London Olympics

OMAHA, Neb. — Ryan Lochte still has Michael Phelps' number.

But Phelps has put himself in position to go for another eight gold medals at the London Olympics.

Lochte, a former college star at Florida, won his latest showdown with the most successful Olympian ever, beating Phelps in the 400-meter individual medley at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials Monday night.

In taking the first spot on the Olympic team, Lochte extended his dominance of Phelps that goes back to last year's world championships, where the 27-year-old Floridian won five gold medals and both of his head-to-head races against Phelps.

"The first race is always the hardest," Lochte said. "I can take a deep breath now, relax and whatever happens, happens."

Phelps started strongly on the butterfly leg, his strongest stroke, but Lochte took command when they switched to breaststroke. He built a lead of about half a body length and held off Phelps in the freestyle finish, cruising to the wall with one arm extended to post a time of 4 minutes, 7.06 seconds. He got a kiss from his dad, Steve, as he came off the deck.

Phelps claimed the second Olympic spot in 4:07.89.

"I was very pleased with that," Phelps said. "I said if I went 4:07, I'd be happy."

Tyler Clary, who took second at the 2011 worlds, won't even swim the event in London. He faded to third in 4:09.92 and was so upset he didn't stop for the media in the mixed zone.

Heading to his third Olympics, Lochte is determined to repeat his brilliant performance last year in Shanghai, where he surpassed Phelps as the world's top swimmer.

"I'm definitely ready to tear it up in London and show the world what the USA is all about," Lochte said.

Phelps, who owns a record 14 Olympic gold medals, plans to retire after the London Games.

Clearwater's Robert Margalis made the final but finished eighth.

In other finals on opening night, Peter Vanderkaay became a three-time Olympian by winning the 400 freestyle and Elizabeth Beisel, 19, who also swims for the Gators, earned her second straight trip to the Olympics in the 400 IM.

Vanderkaay won in 3:47.67 and Conor Dwyer took the second spot for London in 3:47.83.

Alex Katz of Tarpon Springs, Nick Alexiou of Clearwater High and Jason Taylor of Plant City and UF were eliminated in the heat races. Lochte pulled out of the event.

Beisel won her event easily in 4:31.74, more than 2 seconds ahead of Caitlin Leverenz.

Becca Mann, 14, of Clearwater finished fifth, in 4:41.61. Taylor Katz of Tarpon Springs and Melanie Margalis of Clearwater were eliminated in the heats.

Dana Vollmer set a U.S. record in the semifinals of the 100 butterfly in 56.42 seconds.

Comments

North shuts out South squad in Pinellas All-Star Football Classic

CLEARWATER — The players had so much fun, officials at Clearwater High School literally had to turn off the lights post-game to get everyone to go home.With more than 60 talented and motivated seniors participating in Wednesday's 23rd annu...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Marchand rallies Bruins by Wings

Marchand rallies Bruins by Wings

DETROIT — Brad Marchand assisted on the tying goal late in regulation and scored the winner 35 seconds into overtime to give the Bruins a 3-2 victory over the Red Wings on Wednesday.The Bruins managed only two shots on goal in the first period but tw...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Tampa Bay Rays making progress in trade talks

Tampa Bay Rays making progress in trade talks

Without getting into specifics – especially the who and the where – Rays officials are for the first time talking optimistically about making a trade before the winter meetings end Thursday.Speaking at around 5:15, senior VP Chaim Bloom s...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Winter meetings journal: Rays trade for money to sign top international free agent

LAKE BUENA VISTA — While most of the business conducted at the meetings impacts the big-league team one way or another, the Rays are working to finalize a move they hope pays off big sometime in the 2020s.In trading Wednesday to acquire $1 million in...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 3 – updated with news

Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 3 – updated with news

UPDATE, 5:55: Trade talks apparently picked up this afternoon, perhaps related to previous activity by other teams, and for first time Rays officials sound like something could happen tonight."At this point today, some of those conversations are movi...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Market starting to set itself as Rays’ trade talks intensify

Market starting to set itself as Rays’ trade talks intensify

LAKE BUENA VISTA — Alex Colome claimed he was just showing good social media manners Tuesday night in following four Cardinals-related Instagram accounts since they were saying nice things about him.In doing so, whether for that reason or another mor...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Market starting to set itself

Market starting to set itself

LAKE BUENA VISTA — Alex Colome claimed he was just showing good social media manners Tuesday night in following four Cardinals-related Instagram accounts since they were saying nice things about him.In doing so, whether for that reason or another mor...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Times wires

INDIANAPOLIS — Paul George made a winning return to Indiana, hitting the clinching free throws with 10.7 seconds left in the Thunder’s 100-95 victory over the Pacers on Wednesday. Steven Adams had 23 points and 13 rebounds and Russell Westbrook finis...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Thursday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYBoxingSuper Bantamweights: Salgado vs. Diego De La Hoya10:30 p.m.ESPN2College basketballBethune-Cookman at USF7 p.m.820-AMValparaiso at Northwestern8 p.m.Big TenSouthern at Baylor8:30 p.m.ESPN2College volleyball, NCAA semifinalsNebraska vs. Penn...
Updated: 2 hours ago
First-ever Falcon Nobis dies at 74

First-ever Falcon Nobis dies at 74

ATLANTA — Tommy Nobis, the first player drafted by the expansion Falcons and a hard-hitting middle linebacker who was never fully recognized for his talents on a struggling franchise that failed to make the playoffs during his long career, died Wedne...
Updated: 2 hours ago