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Clairton star shines in national spotlight

| Saturday, June 30, 2012, 10:36 p.m.

Janet Evans finished 53rd out of 65 swimmers in the 800-meter freestyle preliminaries at the U.S. trials in Omaha, Neb., on Saturday, ending the former Olympic champion's comeback at age 40.

Evans completed the 16-lap race in 9 minutes, 1.59 seconds, placing her eighth out of 10 swimmers in her heat won by Jamie Bohunicky, a 21-year-old who swam 8:48.42. Evans' time was far off her seed time of 8:46.89.

Kate Ziegler, who didn't make the 800 free final in Beijing, was the top qualifier for Sunday's final in 8:27.61. Katie Ledecky, a 15-year-old from Bethesda, Md., was second at 8:27.91.

Rachel Zilinskas (Indiana, Pa.) finished ninth in 8:37.01. Leah Smith (Mt. Lebanon) was 12th (8:38.84), and Lindsay Vrooman (Ambridge) was 24th (8:46.90).

More swimming

• Michael Phelps won another duel with Ryan Lochte, edging his rival in their most stirring race yet to take the 200-meter individual medley. Phelps had a significant advantage for Saturday night's race, coming in fresh while Lochte had to recover quickly after winning the 200 backstroke a half-hour earlier. If Lochte was tired, he sure didn't look it, going stroke for stroke with the 14-time Olympic gold medalist. But Phelps led at every turn and got to the wall in 1 minute, 54.84 seconds, the fastest time in the world this year. Lochte was right behind in 1:54.93.

• Lochte pulled away in the 200-meter backstroke in 1 minute, 54.54 seconds, second fastest in the world this year behind Japan's Ryosuke Irie. Tyler Clary took the second spot for London in 1:54.88.

• Missy Franklin qualified fastest in the 200 back, keeping the 17-year-old from Colorado on track to compete in four individual events and possibly all three relays in London. She powered to the wall in 2:08.35.

• Anthony Ervin posted the top time in the semifinals of the 50-meter freestyle, finishing in 21.74 seconds, tied for the third-quickest time in the world this year.

• Rebecca Soni won in the 200-meter breaststroke in 2 minutes, 21.13 seconds. Micah Lawrence claimed the second Olympic spot in 2:23.03. Amanda Beard missed out on making a fifth Olympic team, fading to sixth (2:26.42).

2 gymnasts bound for London

World parallel bars champion Danell Leyva and John Orozco booked their tickets to the London Games by finishing in the top two after the final day of men's competition at the U.S. Olympic trials.

Leyva emerged narrowly ahead after a tight battle with Orozco to head the overall standings, based on combined scores from the U.S. gymnastics nationals and the trials, on 368.350.

U.S. all-around champion Orozco, who led going into the final routine of the afternoon at the HP Pavilion before he made a slight error on the parallel bars, was second on 367.400.

Bolt, Blake move on

Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake woke up early Saturday and advanced to the next round of the 200-meter race with ease at Jamaican Olympic trials.

Less than 12 hours after Blake shocked Bolt in the 100-meter final, the sprinters returned to National Stadium for 9 a.m. qualifying heats.

Running in front of maybe 200 fans and stadium workers, Bolt won in 21.21 seconds. In the next heat, Blake finished in 21.43 seconds.

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