US Olympic Trials - Day 1 Prelim Recap
Adam Sioui
Big guns put themselves in perfect position for evening session.

As expected, the usual suspects did not disappoint after the first morning of the 2008 US Olympic Trials in Omaha. Phelps, Lochte, Hoff, and Hansen all breezed into tonight's finals session with little trouble. The real story of the morning however was the depth of the competition. Relaxing and coasting into finals was a luxury no one could afford as every event was significantly faster than four years prior. No World Records (yet), but the big guns put themselves in perfect position for tonight.

Men's 400 IM

In the first event of the competition, Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps will go head-to-head tonight in what is sure to be the first of many battles these superstars will engage in this week at the Qwest Center. Lochte will be the top seed with a 4:13.38 followed closely by Phelps who is only 5 one hundredths behind. Phelps took the first 200 metres out very fast, only 7 tenths above his world record, then seemed to shut it down. The depth of this meet is already apparent as it took a swift 4:21.05 to make the top flight, easily surpassing 4:24.82, 8th place from the 2004 Trials.

Women's 100 Butterfly

NCAA Champ Christine Magnuson stormed to the front and never looked back touching in a very impressive 57.84, only half a second over the American record. Elaine Breeden (58.03) and Rachel Komisarz (58.44) round out the top 3 for the semi-final this evening. The top 6 women were all under 59 seconds, and it took a 59.97 to even make a second swim.

Men's 400 Freestyle

American record holder Peter Vanderkaay is the top seed heading into tonight's final. Vanderkaay stopped the clock in 3:48.06, only inches ahead of fellow Olympians Erik Vendt (3:48.25) and Larsen Jensen (3:48.28). A 3:51.47 was required for the A Final, and 3:54.54 was 16th place. In the first heat, Taylor Smith clocked 3:54.82, where in 2004 that would have put him 7th going into the final. In 2008 he owns the 18th position.

Women's 400 IM

Katie Hoff who up until the last 100 metres was on her American and former World Record pace, still finished in a brisk 4:34.59. Kathleen Hersey occupies the 8th spot (4:43.20) tonight, more than 6 seconds faster than the final cut from 2004. Kaitlin Sandeno, two time Olympian and Athens silver medalist in this event, failed to make the final.

Men's 100 Breaststroke

It took a 1:02.36 to make semi-finals tonight, with World Record holder Brendan Hansen leading the way in 59.84, the only sub one-minute swim of the morning. Mark Gangloff will take up lane 4 of the first semi with a personal best time of 1:00.10