Clary and McLean Qualify for 2012 U.S. Olympic Team!

Six FAST swimmers traveled to Omaha, Nebraska last week to compete in the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials. Tyler Clary and Matt McLean earned spots on the 2012 Olympic Team that is headed to London! Tyler will race the 200 Butterfly and 200 Backstroke. Matt will swim the 200 Freestyle as a member of the 4x200 Freestyle Relay team. Elite Team Head Coach Jon Urbanchek will accompany his athletes and the rest of the Team USA as an Assistant Coach. Please read on for a full meet recap and race results. Congratulations to all of our competitors on their incredible achievements! Complete meet results can be viewed here.

Five of our six swimmers competed on the first day of the meet and four went on to compete in Finals. Clary took third place in the 400 IM behind Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte. His time of 4:09.92 stands at third in the world for 2012. Robert Margalis finished 8th in the Final with a time of 4:21.27. (Click here for 400 IM world rankings.) The 400 Freestyle was another close call for FAST with Michael Klueh taking third place. He touched the wall just behind two swimmers from the University of Florida, Conor Dwyer and two-time Olympian Peter Vanderkaay. Klueh's time of 3:48.17 stands in the 20th position in the world for 2012. (Click here for 400 Freestyle world rankings.) McLean and Mike Smit both swam in the Preliminaries of the event placing 9th and 26th, respectively. Smit's time of 3:55.91 was a lifetime best.
All three FAST swimmers in the Men's 200 Freestyle on Day Two advanced to the Semi-Finals. After two exciting heats, McLean and Klueh stood in 4th and 8th places, respectively, earning spots in the next evening's Final. Smit took 15th place overall with a lifetime best 1:49.45. In the Final on Day Three, McLean became FAST's third Olympian of all-time and the first of 2012 when he finished 5th in the 200 Freestyle! His time of 1:46.78 stands at 14th in the world and earned him a spot on the Men's 4 x 200 Freestyle Relay that will compete in London. (Click here for 200 Freestyle world rankings.)
FAST also had two swimmers in the Semi-Finals of the Men's 200 Butterfly on Day Three. Clary and Margalis both competed, with Clary advancing to the Final in the fourth position and Margalis taking 16th place. In the Finals on Day Four, Clary raced a very tight field and got his hands on the wall for second place and his first Olympic berth! Tyler's time of 1:55.12 was second behind defending Olympic Gold Medalist Michael Phelps and earned his first individual race for the London Games. He stands at fifth in the world heading into the Olympics. (Click here for 200 Butterfly world rankings.)
Day Five brought two Semi-Final swims for FAST: Clary in the 200 Backstroke and Margalis in the 200 Individual Medley. Clary placed second in the Backstroke advancing to the Finals. Margalis finished 13th in the IM. The following day, Clary earned his second Olympic Team spot with a second place finish in the 200 Backstroke. His time of 1:54.88 was a full second faster than his Semi-Finals time and just 0.34 behind the winner, Ryan Lochte. Their tight race and final times bode well for great performances in London as they sit in the second and third positions in the world. Ryosuke Irie of Japan leads the world with his time of 1:54.02. (Click here for 200 Backstroke world rankings.)
On the final day of the meet, FAST Elite Team coach Jon Urbanchek was named to the coaching staff of the team heading to London. This is Coach Urbanchek's sixth consecutive selection to the U.S. Olympic Team coaching staff. Urbanchek, Clary, and McLean will leave this Saturday for Olympic Team Training Camps in Knoxville, Tennessee and Vichy, France. From France, they will go on to London. Good luck to Tyler, Matt, Coach Urbanchek, and all of Team USA!