Nathan Adrian goes into Olympic Trials 50m freestyle semifinal in fourth place


The morning after qualifying to defend his Olympic gold medal in the 100m freestyle, Nathan Adrian clocked the fourth-fastest 50m freestyle time during the preliminary heats at the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials on Friday in Omaha, Nebraska.

Caeleb Dressel, who also earned an individual berth to Rio in the 100m, raced to 21.76 for the top time in the morning’s 50m freestyle preliminary heats. He’ll be joined by Olympic veterans Anthony Ervin (21.80), Cullen Jones (21.84) and Adrian (21.96) to round out the top four.

To no one's surprise, Katie Ledecky blew away the field in the 800m freestyle preliminary heats, where she owns the 2012 Olympic gold medal. She raced to 8:10.91 – off her 8:06.68 world record – but it’s a new long course national record time, formerly held by Janet Evans in 1988. With the swim, Ledecky now owns the top 10 fastest performances ever in the event.  

She’ll advance to Friday’s final with the top time. There is no semifinal of the women’s 800m freestyle.

Michael Phelps placed third in his 100m butterfly preliminary heat with a time of 51.87 but easily advanced in sixth place into Friday’s semifinals. Ryan Lochte's training partners Matthew Josa and Tim Phillips lead the way in the first and second spots.

It was later announced that Lochte, who had initially advanced in ninth place, and Dressel scratched out of the semifinals, allowing for the two designated alternates to take their places. Lochte likely has plans to focus solely on the 200m individual medley final instead and earn a berth to the 2016 Games in an individual event, while Dressel is expected to be a force in the 50m freestyle semifinal.  

Defending Olympic champion in the 200m backstroke Missy Franklin posted the event’s fastest time in the morning preliminary heats to move into the semifinals in first place. She leads Maya DiRado by seven one-hundredths of a second, but the pair will not be in the same heat on Friday.

Elizabeth Beisel – swimming with a broken bone and torn ligament in her pinky – advances to the semifinals in third place with a time of 2:10.01.