Ryan Lochte looks at time time after swimming in the...

Ryan Lochte looks at time time after swimming in the men's 400-meter individual medley preliminaries at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials. (June 25, 2012) Credit: AP

OMAHA, Neb. -- Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps have advanced to the final of the 400-meter individual medley at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials.

Lochte, the defending world champion, was the top qualifier Monday morning in 4 minutes, 10.66 seconds. Phelps was next fastest, cruising through his preliminary heat in 4:14.72.

It should be quite an evening final. Tyler Clary, who won silver in the event at last year's worlds, will also be contending for one of the two spots on the Olympic team. He was fourth-fastest at 4:15.88.

Phelps won the 400 IM at the last two Olympics but vowed to drop the grueling event after Beijing. He brought it back over the past year and says he's known "for a while" that he would be in the race at the trials.

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