graduate Matt Grevers has earned a spot on his second straight Olympic team, winning the 100-meter backstroke in 52.08 seconds Wednesday night — the second-fastest time in the event's history at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Omaha, Neb.
Grevers, who now trains in Tucson, Ariz., captured the silver medal in the same event at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China. Grevers will swim in London when the Olympics begin in late July.
His time is the second-fastest of all time behind only Aaron Peirsol's world record of 51.94. Peirsol, a three-time Olympian and seven-time Olympic medalist (five gold, two silver), captured the gold in the 100 backstroke in Beijing, and retired from swimming in 2011.
The 6-foot-8 Grevers took the lead from the start of Wednesday's race, and pulled away over the last 25 meters. He told NBC Sports afterward, "I just felt comfortable."
Former University of Arizona swimmer Nick Thoman (52.86) edged David Plummer (52.98) for second place and a trip to London. Ben Hesen placed fourth in 53.03. All four times are among the top 10 in the world this year.
Grevers had the fastest time coming into the finals of 52.94, ahead of Plummer (53.24) and Thoman (53.40). Ryan Lochte also was slated to swim in the 100 backstroke finals but dropped out to focus on the 200 freestyle finals Wednesday night, where he lost by .05 seconds to Michael Phelps.
Grevers isn't done swimming. He will compete in the 200-meter backstroke in Friday night's semifinals in Omaha. The finals are Saturday night.
Grevers won the 200 backstroke at the Mutual of Omaha Swimvitational on June 9. He said then that he plans to battle Tyler Clary for the second spot in the event on the U.S. Olympic team behind favorite Lochte.