Can’t wait to see Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte race head-to-head? Eager to see whether Lochte proves as worthy a challenger to the best swimmer of all time as he did last summer?
Well, you won’t see any of that Thursday night at the Indy Grand Prix in Indianapolis — even though both are scheduled to swim in the 100-meter freestyle and 100 butterfly finals at the Indiana University Natatorium.
Lochte, who as usual this time of year is buried in heavy training, didn’t advance to either A final in the morning preliminaries.
His 14th-place effort in the 100 freestyle (50.51 seconds) and 12th in the 100 fly (54.41) earned him slots in the evening’s B final. Phelps got third in the 100 fly in 53.19 and seventh in the 100 free in 50.16.
In other news, a host of 30-somethings splashed around Thursday morning, all on the comeback trail. Anthony Ervin, who tied training partner Gary Hall Jr. for a gold medal at the 2000 Summer Games in Sydney in the 50 free, returned to competition last year after an eight-year absence from the sport. Ervin, 30, made it to the night’s C final of the 100 free. His time of 50.38 was 11th-best.
The men’s 200 breast featured two Olympic stars of old, Brendan Hansen, 30, and Lake Braddock High’s Ed Moses, 31. Both qualified for the evening’s A final, with Moses claiming the sixth-fastest time of the morning (2 minutes, 16.33 seconds) and Hansen, fifth-best (2:15.55). Moses won a gold and silver at the 2000 Summer Games, then took seven years off before returning to the sport last year; Hansen, a four-time Olympic medal winner, retired for nearly three years after his second Olympics in 2008.
Also noteworthy: Towson’s Katie Hoff is swimming in her first meet since returning to her old coach, Paul Yetter, in January. Hoff, who grew up swimming under Yetter at the North Baltimore Aquatic Club, has spent the past few years in California but rejoined Yetter at his new team in Naples, Fla.
And Great Falls’ Kate Ziegler is also back with her old coach, Ray Benecki, of the FISH. She also returned after training in Fullerton, Ca., under Jon Urbanchek.