With the 2012 U.S. Swimming Olympic Trials fast approaching, Reachforthewall.com, The Post’s swimming blog, will be taking a look at each night of the eight day competition that will decide the delegates to the 2012 Olympic Games in London, beginning July 27. Each day’s preview will including analysis of each event’s favorites, a breakdown of local area competitors, and our picks to compete for the U.S. in London. The meet will begin June 25 in Omaha, Neb. and will be broadcast live each night on NBC, beginning at 8 p.m. ET.
On the opening night of competition, heavyweights Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte will go head-to-head in swimming’s decathalon — the men’s 400-meter individual medley. Phelps is the reigning Olympic Champion and current world record holder in the event, but has been supplanted in recent years by Lochte as the world’s #1 all-around swimmer.
In the second final of the night, former Potomac Falls standout, Matt McLean will try to make his first Olympic team in the men’s 400 freestyle. So far, McLean has posted the event’s fastest time in 2012 by an American swimmer. He is the reigning national champion as well.
The second day of competition begins to answer some of the big questions for Team USA. In the first final of the night, the women’s 100 butterfly, Dana Vollmer is ranked number one in the world since winning the event in Shanghai at the 2011 World Championships last July. She will most likely face Natalie Coughlin, the most decorated female athlete from the 2008 Olympic Games, who is trying to make her third Olympic team.
To end the second night, some of the country’s brightest young stars will take to the water in the women’s 400 freestyle. Headlining the field will be Olympians Allison Schmitt, Katie Hoff, Kate Ziegler, Chloe Sutton, but keep an eye on the two young stars in this race, Gillian Ryan of North Baltimore Aquatic Club and Katie Ledecky from the D.C. area based Curl-Burke Swim Club.