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Swimmers prove they’re ready for Trials at five separate meets around the country

Michael Phelps and Missy Franklin might be thinking they still have work to do before the U.S. Olympic Trials (June 26-July 3) and the 2016 Rio Games, though Allison Schmitt, David Plummer and Caeleb Dressel proved they’re more than ready while swimming at five different meets sprawled around the country Saturday night. Each meet is considered the swimmers’ final tune-ups leading to Trials at the end of the month.

The highlights:

  • Allison Schmitt beat Missy Franklin for the second time in as many days (the 100m freestyle Friday and the 200m freestyle Saturday) at a competition in Austin
  • Franklin returned later in the meet to capture the 200m backstroke title
  • Also in Austin, Michael Phelps clocked 1:48.74 to finish fourth in the 200m freestyle, an event he previously said he would not swim at Olympic Trials
  • Nathan Adrian clocked the world’s fourth-fastest 50m freestyle time for the year in California
  • David Plummer posted a lifetime best in Indianapolis to clock 2016’s fastest time in the world in the 100m backstroke
  • Ryan Lochte may have signaled he’ll swim the 400m individual medley at Trials

Allison Schmitt beat Missy Franklin in Austin in the 200m freestyle – one minute, 56.87 seconds to 1:57.78 – at the Austin Elite Invite in Texas. On Friday, Schmitt beat Franklin in the 100m distance.

Michael Phelps was fourth in the 200m freestyle, clocking 1:48.73 behind Townley Haas (1:47.86), Clark Smith (1:47.97) and Clay Youngquist (1:48.48). Friday night, he won the 100m freestyle but was second in the 100m butterfly, his signature event.

Franklin later rebounded to win the 200m backstroke – one of four events she earned a gold medal in at the 2012 Olympics – in a time of 2:09.45.

At a meet hosted by his club team in Charlotte, North Carolina, Ryan Lochte clocked 1:02.19 to win the 100m breaststroke. While it’s an unusual event by itself for Lochte, it could signal he might swim the 400m individual medley at Trials – he’s sworn off the event to the media, but owns the 2012 London Olympic gold in that race.

Nathan Adrian raced to 21.68 seconds in the 50m freestyle at the Arena Pro Series in Santa Clara, California, improving to the fourth-best time in the world for 2016.

Also at that competition, reigning 100m and 200m backstroke world champion Emily Seebohm of Australia won the 100m backstroke.

Conor Dwyer won the men’s 400m freestyle in Santa Clara in 3:46.09 – a $10,000 swim which secured enough points to win the overall Arena Pro Series. This is Dwyer’s third overall Pro title and it also comes with a one-year lease of a BMW.

The field was significantly opened up after China’s Sun Yang scratched the final. Sun posted a 3.43.55 to lead after Saturday morning’s preliminary session ahead of Dwyer’s morning 3:48.15.

Other winners in Santa Clara included Aussies Madeline Groves (200m butterfly), Emma McKeon (50m freestyle), Jessica Ashwood (400m freestyle) and Canadian Martha McCabe (200m breaststroke). On the men’s side, the U.S.’ Josh Prenot and Brazil’s Kaio Almeida claimed the 200m breaststroke and 200m butterfly, respectively.

David Plummer’s 100m backstroke swim at the Arena Pro Series stop in Indianapolis highlighted the night in that venue. He clocked 52.40 – shaving 0.11 seconds off his best time – to win the event in the fastest time in the world for 2016. His time cemented him as the fourth-fastest American man behind Aaron Peirsol, Matt Grevers and Ryan Murphy. Plummer’s time still remains the fastest among Olympic Trials qualifiers, including Grevers and Murphy.

Murphy won the 100m backstroke at the meet in Santa Clara in a time of 52.76 seconds.

Leah Smith posted 4:03.33 to win the 400m freestyle, the fourth fastest time in U.S. behind Olympic medalists Katie Ledecky, Allison Schmitt and Katie Hoff. It’s the second-fastest time in the world for 2016, behind Ledecky.

Other winners in Indianapolis included Kelsi Worrell in the 200m butterfly (2:09.25), Josh Schneider in the 50m freestyle (22.16 seconds) and Olivia Smoliga in the 100m backstroke (59.41, a lifetime best for her). Connor Jaeger took the men’s 400m freestyle in Indianapolis in 3:49.45.

Nic Fink, who won Friday night’s 100m breaststroke, clocked a 2:09.89 to win the 200m breaststroke over a field that included other U.S. men’s top breaststrokers Cody Miller (third in 2:12.74) and Kevin Cordes (fourth in 2:13.04). Fink’s time vaulted him to No. 12 in the world rankings this year.

At the Tennessee Aquatics June Invite, Olympic hopeful Caeleb Dressel clocked a 1:48.39 to win the men’s 200m freestyle.

2012 Olympian Claire Donahue won the women’s 100m butterfly title in 59.06 and Elizabeth Beisel won the 200m freestyle in 2:00.74.