Michael Phelps & Ryan Lochte show off their tops: Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte will make their 2011 debuts at this weekend's Austin Grand Prix, the second of seven meets in the USA Swimming series. And, as luck would have it, the two are slated to compete in five events together.
Lochte famously beat Phelps in the 200m IM at the 2010 U.S. Championships, the first time he topped his American rival in an IM at a major long-course meet. In Austin, the pair will meet in the 200m freestyle and 100m butterfly on Friday, the 100m backstroke on Saturday and the 200m IM and 100m freestyle on Sunday.
Phelps will also swim in Saturday's 200m breaststroke and Lochte will compete in the 400m freestyle the same day. Lochte had the year of his life in 2010, as he completely dominated the Pan-Pacs and the Short-Course World Championships. Phelps, on the other hand, skipped a few meets (including Worlds) and did not swim nearly as well as Lochte at the Pan-Pacs.
The two are close friends and 2011, which will culminate with the World Championships in Shanghai and the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, will no doubt see some action-packed races as the two go head-to-head. The Austin meet is Friday-Sunday, and you can watch live video of the finals on Universal Sports TV and UniversalSports.com the first two nights.
Others slated to compete are Jason Lezak, Garrett Weber-Gale, Tyler Clary, Peter Vanderkaay, Eric Shanteau, Ricky Berens, Katie Hoff, Kate Ziegler, Kathleen Hersey and Grand Prix points leader Missy Franklin.