Ryan Murphy makes Olympic trials history with 100, 200 backstroke sweep

INDIANAPOLIS — Ryan Murphy remains remarkably consistent as Team USA’s top backstroker, but his consistency at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials came in historic fashion Thursday night at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Finishing first in the men’s 200-meter backstroke with a time of 1:54.33, 28-year-old Murphy became the first swimmer to win the men’s 100 and 200-meter backstroke at three straight U.S. trials. He won the 100 earlier this week to become a three-time Olympian, looking to add to his six Olympic medals.

“There are a lot of guys who [came] before me; I have posters of them on my wall,” Murphy told NBC Sports. “To be in a different conversation as them — I'm never gonna view myself as better than them. There's definitely more work to do. I'll take this one and be happy about it.”

Get Olympics updates in your texts! Join USA TODAY Sports' WhatsApp Channel

He won gold in the 100 and 200 backstroke at the 2016 Rio Olympics and bronze in the 100 and silver in the 200 at the 2021 Tokyo Games.

In Thursday night’s final, Murphy out-touched fellow Cal swimmer Keaton Jones by .28 seconds, but 20-year-old Jones — who posted a finals time of 1:54.61 — is expected to swim the event in Paris as well.

Virginia swimmer Jack Aikins finished third at 1:54.78, missing the Olympics in this event by just .45 seconds. In Wednesday’s semifinals, Murphy, Jones and Aikins were the top-3 qualifiers and were separated by only .46 seconds, notably faster than the rest of the field. So someone was always going to be close but heartbroken.

Murphy will have one more swim at trials in the 100-meter butterfly.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Ryan Murphy sweeps backstroke wins at Olympic trials