Fourteen-time Olympic champion Michael Phelps and five-time Olympian Dara Torres lead the field of American swimmers Tuesday at the U.S. National Championships in Indianapolis, Indiana. USA Swimming will use the meet to select the team that will represent the United States at the World Championships later this month in Rome, Italy.
USA Swimming National Team Head Coach and General Manager Mark Schubert has been the guiding force behind the U.S. team's dominance at both the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2007 FINA World Championships.
Schubert says the team's success in Beijing has created a lot of excitement heading into this year's U.S. nationals.
"We're looking forward to seeing results from our seasoned swimmers and our leaders from the last Olympics like Michael Phelps, and Dara Torres, and Ryan Lochte, and Aaron Peirsol," said Mark Schubert. "I think that the other thing we can look forward to is the emergence of some of our new up-and-comers."
Schubert says he hopes Phelps stays motivated long term following his historic performance at the 2008 Olympics.
Last year in Beijing, Dara Torres also made her mark on history when she won three silver medals at the age of 41 competing in her fifth Olympic games.
She says after Beijing, she felt motivated to keep swimming competitively and train for the 2009 world championships.
"I know that I'm just going to go out there and do my best and just have fun," said Dara Torres.
For Phelps, Torres and other top U.S. swimmers, the national championships are a five-day path that could ultimately lead to Rome.