OMAHA -- The biggest fish in the temporary 50-meter pond took his legacy to another unprecedented level Wednesday night.
Michael Phelps earned a berth in his fifth Olympic games by winning the 200-meter butterfly in the pool at the CenturyLink Center built for the United States Olympic Trials.
No American male has ever made the U.S. swimming team five times until the Baltimore native -- who turns 31 Thursday -- touched first in one of his signature events in 1:54.84. Tom Shields finished second in 1:55.81 to earn the other U.S. roster spot in the 200 fly.
"That was probably harder than any swim I've had in my life," Phelps said "I didn't feel good the first two swims and didn't really feel that good tonight. But getting on the team was the most important thing, and that's the only thing I had to do tonight."
Phelps scratched from the 100 freestyle prelims to focus on a race in which he is a two-time Olympic champion, but finished second in at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
Next up for Phelps and fellow legend Ryan Lochte -- who qualified Tuesday for his then-record fourth Olympics -- is the prelims and semifinals Thursday in the 200 individual medley. They are 1-2 in the event in which they've had some legendary duels.
The other Trials champions crowned Wednesday night were a pair who posted wins earlier in the meet -- Katie Ledecky and Maya DiRado.
Ledecky led a star-studded field in the 200 freestyle by touching first in 1:54.88. The 19-year-old Stanford freshman-to-be had a strong second half to win in 1:54.88, 1.30 seconds ahead of runner-up Missy Franklin.
Leah Smith and Allison Schmitt also were introduced to the crowd as members of the U.S. team after finishing third and fourth, respectively. Smith checked in at 1:56.63 and Schmitt was next in 1:56.72.
"I could see that it was Simone (Manuel) or Missy or somebody out there who was out going fast, but I knew Simone did that yesterday," Ledecky said. "I knew if I could just be out there out front and then close like I always do I knew it was (my) race."
Franklin was relieved to earn a roster spot for her second Olympic team after falling short Tuesday by finishing seventh in the 100 backstroke.
"I realized that my job here is not to make the Olympic team, it's not to defend anything, it's just to swim well," Franklin said. "That's always what my job has been and that's what I need to continue to do, so it's me trying to work through and deal with this kind of pressure that I've never really dealt with before."
DiRado completed her sweep of the individual medleys by winning the 200 IM in 2:09.54. Melanie Margalis edged 2012 Olympian Caitlin Leverenz by 0.05 seconds to finish second in 2:10.11.
"I could kind of see where I was at in the field and obviously I was sprinting as hard as I could," DiRado said. "But it's nice when you don't feel them gaining on you. That's kind of a little bit of relief. So I just put my head own and charged home."
American sprint star Nathan Adrian led the field of qualifiers in the semifinals of the men's 100 freestyle by winning heat two in 47.91.
Camille Adams is on target to successfully defend her Trials title in the 200-meter breaststroke despite a few unnerving moment following her Wednesday morning prelim swim.
The 24-year-old Texas A&M graduate, who currently competes for SwimMAC Carolina, won the 10th and final prelim heat in 2:08.29. That time was 0.91 seconds faster than any other competitor.
A deck official monitoring lane four ruled that Adams came off the wall on her final turn on her back instead of her stomach. Disqualifications called from the deck automatically are flagged for a video review by underwater cameras.
SwimMAC coach David Marsh, who also is the head coach for the 2016 U.S. Women's Olympic team, said the cameras proved there indeed was no violation.
"The perception was, by the official, that she came off the wall on her back and the underwater camera has her toes off the wall," Marsh said. "She was fully on her side moving toward her stomach, so thankfully we followed the process of what FINA does with the underwater cameras."
How she swam the semifinal showed Adams had put the morning dramatics behind her. Adams was nearly one second faster to finish as the top qualifier in 2:07.31. She churned out her final 100 meters in 1:05.25 after finding herself in fifth after her first 100.
The noise generated for the second 100 meters of both the morning and evening 200 breaststroke swims Wednesday were the loudest of the first half of the meet from the CenturyLink Center crowds.
Screaming "stroke" every time Kevin Cordes popped up to take a breath seemed to inspire the emerging 22-year-old breaststroke star from suburban Chicago. He won the 100 breast in Monday's finals and now is one race away from an accomplishment only done twice before.
Only Brendan Hansen in 2004 and John Hencken in 1976 have swept both breaststrokes at a U.S. Olympic Trials since both events became part of the Olympic program in 1960.