Tag Archive | "Michael Phelps"

Tucker right back to work after winning kicking job for Ravens

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Tucker right back to work after winning kicking job for Ravens

Posted on 27 August 2012 by Luke Jones

Upon learning he had beaten out veteran Billy Cundiff to become the Ravens kicker, Justin Tucker couldn’t resist taking time to enjoy it.

Even if only for a moment before refocusing his efforts toward keeping the job the 22-year-old worked so hard to earn over the last three months.

“Probably for about a minute I got a chance to celebrate and call everyone in my family and a few of my good friends from school and let them know some good news,” Tucker said. “Right after that, you have to put your head down and get right back to work.”

It’s that attitude — along with a powerful, deadly-accurate right leg — that impressed coach John Harbaugh and special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg enough to make the difficult decision to part with Cundiff and instill their faith in a young man who’s never made as much as an extra point in an NFL game.

After spending the last six weeks as the hunter, Tucker’s standing with the Ravens now resets. Making 60-yard field goals during practices in Owings Mills or a 53-yarder against the Jacksonville Jaguars in August will win you the starting job, but those feats do nothing to insure the rookie will keep the starting job long-term.

Fortunes can turn quickly. Just ask the 2010 Pro Bowl kicker who finds himself unemployed less than two years later.

Tucker is seeing it firsthand as friends and teammates struggle to carve out spots on the 53-man roster, with some of them already having been told they weren’t good enough.

“I was just telling a couple of the other guys that it gets real, really fast,” Tucker said. “There are 90 guys here over the weekend, and after today, there [are] 75. So, it is pretty crazy how fast it all happens.”

As confident as Harbaugh and the Ravens are in Tucker’s ability, the reality is no one knows whether he will be able to handle the job. Admittedly in the best groove of his kicking career this summer, Tucker hasn’t dealt with the scrutiny that accompanies a rough stretch in which he misses a couple fields goals he’s expected to make.

But the coaching staff is betting that the maturity he exuded throughout the kicking competition will carry over if and when he pushes a 41-yarder wide right or has a 54-yard game-winning attempt blocked by a defensive lineman.

It happens to the best of them. The Ravens just hope it doesn’t come in the closing seconds of the AFC Championship game again.

“When you have a bad play or the momentum swings against you, you brush it off and you move on to the next one,” Harbaugh said. “That’s the same for kickers. I think he has what it takes to do that.”

Whether it’s unbreakable confidence or simply the naivety of a rookie, Tucker says he doesn’t think about failure. Depending on how you view it, the fact that he can’t recall any notable period at Texas in which he struggled might be a dangerous omen or the reflection of a young man who’s fortunate enough not to realize how difficult it can be to kick in the NFL.

As he’s done throughout the summer, Tucker intends to keep his focus on the next attempt, regardless of how high the stakes are raised in two weeks.

“[I] just think positively,” Tucker said. “And going back to what I’ve said about 100 times: ‘Just keep it simple, and take it one kick at a time.’ That’s all you can do.”

His collegiate career with the Longhorns figures to aid Tucker more than the typical rookie kicker’s college experience. Playing in front of 100,000 fans in Austin or making a 40-yard game-winner on the road against rival Texas A&M is as close as it gets to proper training for life as a kicker in the NFL.

CONTINUE >>>

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Phelps collects 18th gold medal in final race

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Phelps collects 18th gold medal in final race

Posted on 04 August 2012 by WNST Staff

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Olympic Bombardment

Posted on 01 August 2012 by Tom Federline

From a sports standpoint – there is absolutely no excuse to be experiencing the “Summertime Blues” – Eddie Cochran (1958), (rock version – The Who 1967, Blue Cheer 1968). Unless you are in seclusion or deprived with no access to computer or television, you should be in seventh heaven with the Olympics sports coverage. You can nit pick NBC’s coverage saying it’s to dramatic, to many commercials, Bob “Cosmetics” Costas is wearing to much make-up or has to much hair color, etc. etc. Bottom line – you have options. Due to the 5 hour time difference, you have the choice of whether to know the outcome of an event, wait for tape, run through the DVR.  The television and written media is almost at a point of being over whelming. The availability of  numerous sporting events and background insight is 24/7. My DVR is full and I have to tape over or delete. Bring on the Olympics.

The Good – All of it. Depending on your TV/computer package,  there is potential of up to 6 TV channels covering the events. And if you miss something, anything, you can find a replay of it somewhere, via the information highway. It’s fast, it’s furious, it’s entertaining and it’s only been 4 days. My highlights – Womens gymnastics - team gold, Phelps – medal #19, womens swimming – all of it, USA in anything. Extended coverage of the less popular sports: archery, table tennis (ping-pong at a serious advanced level), synchronized diving, badminton, rowing, etc. How about those Fab 5 Golden Girls

The Bad – Ryan Lochte over-load. Looks like NBC jumped on that bandwagon a little to early of that self-indulged individual. Way to blow the lead in the 4 x 100 freestyle swimming relay, Ryan. Take your arrogance and silver grills and go tryout for a numbnut on some bogus TV reality(?) show. I do not agree with the top 2 gymnasts from each country in qualifications advancing to determine the title of Best All-Around. The attempt of a “Fix” and the throwing of badminton matches – Chinese, South Koreans and Indonesia taking tournament into their own hands – http://www.nbcolympics.com/video/badminton/highlights-badminton-players-try-to-throw-match.html.

The Ugly – The Fix. Subjective judging – gymnastics, diving, boxing. I saw clear evidence of “The Fix” in each of these events and it is shameful. Gymnastics – did you see McKayla Maroneys vault last night? It was perfect, even in super slow motion. It stopped me dead in my tracks. I do not believe I have ever seen a more perfect execution of a gymnastics event. And neither had the commentators - Tim Dagget – “I would like the judges to explain where were the deductions?” Synchronized diving - identical dives, same degree of difficulty, Chinese NOT synchronized (85 points) - Mexicans nail it (72 points). It’s just wrong man. Columbia soccer player cold cocking USA player during match and the referees missing it -  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/30/lady-andrade-suspended-abby-wambach-punch-ban_n_1720132.html?ref=topbar.

The Olympics positives and negatives are running the gambit. Highs – USA womens skeet shooter Kimberly Rhode winning a gold medal (99 out of 100 clays) and medaling in her 5th olympics. Disappointments – Michael Phelps not winning his 3rd gold medal in his signature event - the 200m butterfly. Drugs (accusations) - 16 year old Chinese swimmer knocking 5 seconds off her best time and taking home the gold. Highly questionable. Unfortunately, there will be more on PED’s. The Thrill of Victory – Missy Franklin and Allison Schmitt and their swimming accomplishments. USA womens synchronized diving gold. What are your impressions of the games so far?

I am still waiting to catch Brooks ”The Tuna” Velour in the 50m freestyle swimming sprint final – http://mdlottery.com/mdlottery-tv/medal-madness-featuring-brooks-velour/  – best darn commercial I have seen in quite some time. Good, Bad or Ugly  – The London Summer Olympics 2012 – what a nice break.

D.I.Y.

Fedman

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Michael Phelps Deserves A Statue

Posted on 01 August 2012 by Marty Mossa

I’ll preface this by saying I’m tired of hearing about Michael Phelps and especially about his mother. I’ve never met him before and I don’t know if he’s a good guy or a jerk. But this isn’t about Debbie Phelps, or Michael Phelps the person; I’m writing about Michael Phelps the athlete.

Put aside the over kill of Mrs. Phelps and Michael’s sister. Put aside the media over saturation point, put aside the DUI of 2004 in Salisbury or the “bong” incident of 2008. Let’s talk about Michael Phelps the swimmer.

Yesterday Phelps broke the all-time Olympic medal record of 18. At last count Michael has 19 medals accumulated over three Olympics. He earned two bronze and six gold medals in Athens, Greece during the 2004 Olympiad. In 2008 while in Peking, China, Michael earned eight gold medals. And thus far as of August 1, 2012 at 2:41pm e.s.t., Phelps has two silver and one gold medal in the London games. (Courtesy of http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/31/michael-phelps-olympic-record-most-medals_n_1725206.html)

Now as impressive as Cal Ripken’s “Iron” Man streak of 1982 to 1998; his feat was that of regional importance. His accomplishment was more appreciated by those in North America and maybe a few Latin American countries interested in American baseball.

But Michael Phelps is the most decorated athlete in the history of the Summer Olympics. He is not merely a regional hero or a hero in North America, he’s now and forever will be known throughout the entire globe.

Therefore despite my personal feelings about his family pimping themselves and exploiting his fame, I believe that it is a no brainer that Phelps should have a statue erected in his honor. I think the most appropriate place (as I saw suggested) would be in front of the National Aquarium at the Inner Harbor. I’m sure of course if Michael gets a trophy, Debbie would want one too. lol

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Lochte caught by French in relay, USA & Phelps take silver

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Lochte caught by French in relay, USA & Phelps take silver

Posted on 29 July 2012 by WNST Staff

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Phelps favored to win more golds than Lochte in London

Posted on 26 July 2012 by WNST Staff

Courtesy of Bovada, (www.Bovada.lv,  Twitter: @BovadaLV).  Included below are the Gold Medal counts for the US, who will win the most Gold Medals, a plethora of Men’s Hoops odds, swimming, track and field, and much more

Total Gold Medals for Team USA at the 2012 Olympics

Over/Under                    38.5

Most Gold Medals at the 2012 Olympics

USA                             4/7

China                            7/5

Russia                          25/1

Great Britain                  33/1

Total Medals for Team USA at the 2012 Olympics

Over/Under                    103.5


Men’s Basketball Props

Basketball – Men’s – Odds to win the Gold Medal

USA                                         1/8

Spain                                        13/2

France                                      28/1

Argentina                                  28/1

Lithuania                                   33/1

Russia                                      33/1

Brazil                                        40/1

Australia                                   100/1

Great Britain                              250/1

China                                        400/1

Nigeria                                      500/1

Tunisia                                      1000/1

 

Basketball Men’s – Odds to win Silver

Spain                            4/9

France                          7/1

Argentina                      7/1

 

Basketball Men’s – Will USA and Spain meet in the finals?

Yes                              4/5

 

What will be the average margin of victory for the USA Men’s Basketball Team at the 2012 Olympics?

Over/Under                    25.5

 

What will be the largest margin of victory for the USA Men’s Basketball Team?

Over/Under                    45.5

 

What will be the smallest margin of victory for the USA Men’s Basketball Team?

Over/Under                    12.5

 

Lebron James – PPG for the tournament?

Over/Under                    17

 

Lebron James – APG for the tournament?

Over/Under                    4.5

 

Lebron James – RPG for the tournament?

Over/Under                    6.5

 

Kobe Bryant – PPG for the tournament?

Over/Under                    13.5

 

Kevin Durant – PPG for the tournament?

Over/Under                    17

 

Carmelo Anthony – PPG for the tournament?

Over/Under                    13.5

           

Historical Matchups – Who will Average More Points Per Game

(Whole Tournament) 

Lebron James                            -2

Michael Jordan (1992)                +2

(Note: Jordan averaged 14.9 pts per game)

 

Kevin Durant                              +1

Charles Barkley (1992)               -1

(Note: Barkley averaged 18 pts per game)

 

Kobe Bryant                              -.5      

Karl Malone (1992)                     +.5

(Note: Malone averaged 13 pts per game)

 

Historical Matchups – Who will Average More Assists Per Game

(Whole Tournament)

Chris Paul                                 Pick

Magic Johnson (1992)                Pick

(Note: Magic averaged 5.5 assists  per game)


Game 1 Lines

USA                 -24.5                -8000               167.5

France              +24.5                +1400

 

Total Points – Team USA

96

 

Total Points – Team France

71.5

 

Margin Of Victory

USA by 1-5                               18/1

USA by 6-10                              10/1

USA by 11-15                            6/1

USA by 16-20                            9/2

USA by 21-25                            4/1

USA by 26 or more                    1/1

France by 1-5                            50/1

France by 6-10                          200/1

France by 11-15                         250/1

France by 16-20                         300/1

France by 21-25                         350/1

France by 26 or more                 400/1


Odds to win Gold Medal

Swimming – Men’s 400m Individual Medley

Ryan Lochte (USA)                    2/3

Michael Phelps (USA)                1/1

 

Swimming – Men’s 200m Individual Medley    

Ryan Lochte (USA)                    4/5

Michael Phelps (USA)                6/5

 

Athletics – Track – Men’s 100m

Usain Bolt (JAM)                        7/10

Yohan Blake (JAM)                    3/2

Tyson Gay (USA)                       10/1

Justin Gatlin (USA)                    20/1

Ryan Bailey (USA)                     20/1

Asafa Powell (JAM)                    25/1

Christophe Lemaitre (FRA)          50/1

 

Athletics – Track – Men’s 400m

LaShawn Merritt (USA)               1/1

 

Athletics – Track – Men’s 110m Hurdles

Aries Merritt (USA)                     5/4

 

Athletics – Track – Women’s 100m Hurdles

Lolo Jones (USA)                       33/1

 

Athletics – Track – Women’s 100m

Allyson Felix (USA)                   7/1

 

Athletics – Track – Women’s 200m

Allyson Felix (USA)                    1/2

 

Soccer – Women’s

USA                             7/4

 

Soccer – Men’s

Brazil                            3/2

Spain                            12/5

 

Tennis – Men’s Singles

Novak Djokovic                          3/2

Roger Federer                            2/1

Andy Murray                              9/2

 

Tennis – Women’s Singles

Serena Williams                       3/2

Maria Sharapova                        4/1

Victoria Azarenka                      5/1

Venus Williams                         40/1

 

Tennis – Women’s Doubles

Williams/Williams (USA)            4/5

 

Miscellaneous Props

Who will win more Gold Medals at the 2012 Olympics?

Michael Phelps (USA)                -175   (4/7)

Ryan Lochte (USA)                    +140   (7/5)

 

Who will finish higher in the Men’s 400m Individual Medley?

Michael Phelps (USA)                +130   (13/10)

Ryan Lochte (USA)                    -160   (5/8)

 

Who will finish higher in the Men’s 200m Individual Medley?

Michael Phelps (USA)                -130

Ryan Lochte (USA)                    EVEN

 

Will Usain Bolt (JAM) win both the Men’s 100m and 200m Gold Medals?

Yes                  +125   (5/4)

No                    -175   (4/7)

 

Will the USA win both the Men’s and Women’s 4x 400m relays Gold Medals?

Yes                  EVEN

No                    -130

 

Will the USA win both the Men’s and Women’s Basketball Gold Medals?

Yes                  -600   (1/6)

No                    +400   (4/1)

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Olympic Trials

Posted on 06 July 2012 by Tom Federline

It’s hot. If you can’t be in a pool, in the bay or in the ocean, you might as well be reading my blog in air conditioning. I wish I was in a pool, heck I can even smell the chlorine. The pool thoughts reminded me of the Olympic trials which were on last week. Hope you caught some of the coverage on NBC and NBCSN. The focus was on swimming, gymnastics and track and field. I thoroughly enjoyed coming home from work and catching extended highlights prior to prime time coverage later in the evening. It was hot, I had to work, it was hot, limited outside activity, it was hot and the Orioles are not………..so bring on the Summer Olympics 2012. 

It was actually a refreshing surprise, to witness the formulation of the US Olympic Team. Watching these athletes compete at such a high level and watching their dreams being realized or crushed due to a matter of tenths of a second or tenths of a point, really gripped me. Making the team or winning the event is nothing new to me or to any of us. Maybe it was because I was cheering for ”all of them”, instead of  routing “only for the Americans” or “only for the ones who don’t look like they are on steroids”. Maybe it was because the top two or three spots got to go. Maybe it was the drama and the realization that the culmination of years of training was unfolded in the matter of minutes or seconds. What ever it was, congrats Team USA, ya got me hooked.

There were some new terms thrown at me, like “qualifying standards” and “A or B levels”. Bottom line the athlete could win the event but NOT make the team if they did not meet Olympic standards. BOOOOOOO, Olympic committee, with a goofball rule like that, there would have never been an Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards or an initial Jamaican bobsled team. You train, you win, you are the best in your country for an Olympic event, your country (or sponsors) have footed the bill to get you to the Olympics, guess what? You have earned the right to go. The US almost didn’t have a discuss thrower. Every country should have a discuss thrower. The cool thing is, the guy qualified on his last throw, surpassing the Olympic minimum of 65 meters (that’s 213.5 feet for us Americans). He was like 6 inches short prior to his last throw. This guy can throw a “saucer” over 200′ and some wimpy selection committee judge is not going to let this athlete compete? WRONG. You go Lance Brooks. Following are names that stood out to me, during the trials:

Track and Field – Amy Acuff (yes, this is her 5th Olympics -high jump), Allison Felix (sprints), Ashton Eaton (Decathlon), Wallace Spearmon (200m),  and Matthew Centrowitz (1500m – Broadneck High). I had the pleasure of watching Matt Centrowitz run a few years back, thanks to my step-nephew who was particpating in high school track (at a top level I might add). The young  lad could run like a deer, seemingly effortless with gears no one else had.

Womens (Girls) Gymnastics – Jordan Weiber (all around - 16 years old), Aly Raisman (Floor and vault – 18 years old).  Most of them are 16 – do they even have a drivers license? The minimum age is 16. Sixteen? Mens Gymnastics – John Orozco (all around - 19 yrs old) and Jonathan Horton (rings, horizontal bar – 26 years old). The women have a bulls-eye on them and are expected to medal. The guys are underdogs and that’s a nice spot to be in.

Swimming - The United States is just strong. Women – Missy Franklin and Allison Schmitt, you are going to hear those names almost as much as these next two . Men – Ryan Lochte and some guy named Phelps. There is quite a wake building, concerning the Lochte/Phelps potential duals in the pool. Hope that all pans out. The swimming events are going to be where it’s at. It amazes me how those swimmers/dolphins can cut through the water like they do. I finally bought a pair of fins for in the ocean (body surfing and boarding). 1 – they work. 2 – it was so cool to swim with those things on. Now I know how those top swimmers feel when cutting through the water – a cool sensation.

I am currently not up on all the sports the Olympics have to offer. We all soon will be. I am a fan of the more obscure sports, pentathlon, archery, rowing and of course synchronized swimming. I am sure there are Marylanders that have made the team also. So offer your thoughts and info. that I haven’t touched on. It’s all good.

I’m looking forward to July 27 – August 10th. We need some feelgood stories. We need a break in the heat. We need minimal bad press, i.e “roids”. We need the Wide World of Sport. It’s hot. It’s so hot, It’s “Hotter than Hell’ – KISS. Hopefully the US  Team can stoke the fire. U-S-A…. U-S-A…..U-S-A.

D.I.Y.

Fedman

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Phelps wins rematch against Lochte in Omaha

Posted on 27 June 2012 by WNST Staff

OMAHA, Neb. — Michael Phelps got back at Ryan Lochte, stretching out to win a thrilling 200-meter freestyle at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials.

Phelps got off to a stronger start that usual, leading at the first turn and holding the advantage through all four laps Wednesday night. Both swimmers got a big boost off the final turn, with Lochte charging hard to chase down the winningest Olympian ever. But Phelps stretched out his right arm at the wall, touching just ahead of Lochte. The winning time was 1 minute, 45.70 seconds — five-hundredths of a second ahead of Lochte.

Both will head to London to resume their rivalry at the Olympics.

Phelps had a busy night, hustling to the warmdown pool to get ready for the semifinals of the 200 butterfly.

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Phelps makes way onto odd list

Posted on 27 June 2012 by WNST Staff

AshleyMadison.com asked women across America which athlete they would most likely cheat on their husband with. Over 13,500 women responded by picking their top three athletes which yielded the following results :

International Soccer Star and Sex Symbol David Beckham was the overwhelming winner with 43.1% of ALL women surveyed saying they would cheat on their husbands with him.

  • ·         Ultra-conservative New York Jet QB Tim Tebow was second with 19.6% of all women surveyed.
  • ·         New England Patriot and the most prolific QB in the NFL, Tom Brady was a close third with 17.9%. Brady is currently married to Supermodel Gisele Bundchen.
  • ·         Mark Sanchez may be the #1 QB on the Jets but only 8.1% of women said they would have an affair with him, well behind his back-up, Tim Tebow.
  • ·         MLB Future Hall-of-Famer and New York Yankee Derek Jeter led the way with 16.5% of women looking to hit a Home Run with him, edging out Yankee Third Baseman Alex Rodriguez, who garnered 13.2% of women respondents.
  • ·         In the battle of the Manning’s, Peyton edged out his younger brother Eli : 9.6% to 8.5%.
  • ·         NBA MVP and NBA Finals MVP LeBron James is the top NBA player amongst women looking to go to the hoop, with 5.8% of all women surveyed looking to cheat with the King. (Kobe Bryant came in second with 4.4%)
  • ·         Andy Roddick (5.6%) out volleyed both Rafael Nadal (4.6%) and Roger Federer (4.2%) to become the top tennis player chosen amongst women
  • ·         Michael Phelps was the leading Olympian with 10.5% of women ready to jump in the pool with him.
  • ·         Top 5 NFL players (are all QB’s): Tim Tebow (19.6%), Tom Brady (17.9%), Peyton Manning (9.6%), Aaron Rodgers (9.5%), and Eli Manning (8.5%). The top non-quarterback was Reggie Bush (6.9%).
  • ·         Top 5 NBA players: LeBron James (5.8%), Kobe Bryant (4.4%), Lamar Odom (3.7%), Dwyane Wade (3.6%), and Kris Humphries (3.3%)
  • ·         Top 3 MLB players: Derek Jeter (16.5%), Alex Rodriguez (13.2%), and Matt Kemp (1.6%)
  • ·         Top 5 non- NFL, NBA, and MLB athletes: David Beckham (43.1%), Christiano Ronaldo (11.0%), Michael Phelps (10.5%), Kelly Slater (9.2%), Lance Armstrong (7.4%)
  • ·         Top 10 athletes overall: David Beckham (43.1%), Tim Tebow (19.6%), Tom Brady (17.9%), Derek Jeter (16.5%), Alex Rodriguez (13.2%), Christiano Ronaldo (11%), Michael Phelps (10.5%), Peyton Manning (9.6%), Aaron Rodgers (9.5%), Kelly Slater (9.2%).  Tiger Woods came in 15th (6.1%).

**Note:  The percentages are based on 300% since each women picked three athletes.  You could also divide every number by three to get an accurate percentage based on 100%.

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Phelps, Lochte set for another showdown

Posted on 26 June 2012 by WNST Staff

OMAHA, Neb. — (AP) Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps stayed on course for their second showdown at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials on Tuesday.

Lochte qualified fastest in the 200-meter freestyle preliminaries, exploding off the final turn to take the lead and cruise into the wall at 1 minute, 48.14 seconds. He’s the world champion in the event, having beaten Phelps for the title last year in Shanghai.

Charlie Houchin, a 24-year-old from Raleigh, N.C., who was 77th in the 200 free at the 2008 trials, was second-fastest at 1:48.15. Swimming in the heat before Lochte, Phelps qualified third at 1:48.31. He is the Olympic champion and world record holder.

Lochte got the better of Phelps in their first final at trials when he won the 400 individual medley on Monday. Phelps finished second, and they both secured spots for London.

Phelps has set himself up for another eight-event program in London — something he insisted he wouldn’t do again after the Beijing Games.

“It’s not an easy program, but we’re going to try to do some things here,” he said. “The biggest thing is really how I hold up all week. I was definitely happy with getting last night out of the way early. It wasn’t the easiest race. But this morning felt pretty comfortable, so hopefully we can just keep everything rolling for the rest of the meet.”

Can Phelps repeat his historic haul of eight golds?

“Anything can happen,” he said. “You’ve got to be in the right place at the right time.”

Also moving into the 16-man evening semifinals were Conor Dwyer (fifth) and Peter Vanderkaay (sixth). They already earned berths on the U.S. team in the 400 freestyle Monday night.

Davis Tarwater, who narrowly missed making the 2008 Olympics when he was third in the 200 butterfly, was eighth. Ricky Berens, bidding for his second straight Olympic spot, was ninth.

2008 Olympian Garrett Weber-Gale didn’t advance, finishing 24th. Austin Surhoff, the son of former major league baseball player B.J. Surhoff, tied for 66th.

Budding star Missy Franklin and two-time Olympic champion Natalie Coughlin advanced in the 100 backstroke prelims.

Swimming her first event of the eight-day meet, Franklin was the top qualifier in 59.54 seconds, easily moving the 17-year-old from Colorado into the evening semifinals.

“I had some first-race jitters,” she said. “But I’m super, super happy with my time. It felt awesome.”

Franklin saw the sign under the massive scoreboard above the pool as she stroked to the opposite end of the pool.

“It was U.S. Olympic Team. Talk about motivation. That helped me get my tempo up the last 25,” she said. “I was nervous for my first race. But right now, I feel good.”

Franklin led a quartet of teenagers who represent the U.S. future in the event. Rachel Bootsma, an 18-year-old from Minnesota, was second at 59.69, making her and Franklin the only women to go under 1 minute.

Elizabeth Pelton, an 18-year-old from Connecticut, was third at 1:00.55. Olivia Smoliga, a 17-year-old from suburban Chicago, was fourth-quickest at 1:00.66.

Coughlin advanced in fifth at 1:00.71. She was the first woman to break 1 minute in the event and formerly held the world record.

The top 16 in the semifinals move on to Wednesday’s final, where only the top two earn berths for next month’s Olympics.

World champion Rebecca Soni led the way in the 100 breaststroke, coming on strongly over the final 50 meters to win her prelim heat in 1:06.33.

Breeja Larson showed no nerves in her first Olympic trials, turning in the third-fastest time in the world this year to qualify second-quickest at 1:06.52. The sophomore at Texas A&M didn’t start swimming competitively until age 17 in her hometown of Mesa, Ariz.

Jessica Hardy, who won the 100 breast at trials four years ago only to lose her spot on the Olympic team because of a failed doping test, was third at 1:07.25. Hardy served a one-year ban after an arbitration panel agreed with her contention that a tainted nutritional supplement was to blame for her positive test.

Still, she battled anger and depression during the fight to clear her name.

“This is the first time I felt like I can actually have a happy ending,” she said. “I can relax and finally have fun and feel grateful.”

Soni caught Hardy’s time as she was waiting to come on deck.

“She did really well. It gets you kind of pumped up,” she said. “The times are getting faster and faster every year. I definitely have to keep my ’A’ game going.”

Amanda Beard, the 1996 Olympic silver medalist in the 100 breast, qualified seventh for the evening semifinals. The 30-year-old mother of one is trying to make her fifth Olympic team, but the 100 is not her best event and she will have to pick up the pace to make the eight-woman final.

“I think my chances are great,” she said. “But this isn’t my life. My life doesn’t just revolve around swimming. I won’t be too devastated walking away and saying I competed at my fifth Olympic trials. I’ll look at it as a success and go on a nice vacation with my family.”

Also advancing in 13th was Ariana Kukors, a three-time medalist in the world championships. 2000 Olympic champion Megan Jendrick, who gave birth to her first child eight months ago, finished 22nd.

 

 

 

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