Franklin wins in blistering time
Indianapolis - Missy Franklin produced a world-leading time Friday to win
the women's 100m backstroke at the US swimming championships, then set her
sights on Saturday's 200m individual medley.
Franklin, the Olympic gold medallist in the 100 back at London last year,
trailed Liz Pelton at the halfway mark but pulled ahead with about 20 meters
left to win in 58.67 seconds.
"The whole field was right there at the fifty, so I knew I had to bring
it back fast that last lap," said Franklin. "It was tough. It hurt a
Franklin's time was a US open record as the fastest-ever on American soil
and improved on the previous best of the year of 58.84 set by Japan's Aya
The top four finishers all dipped under one minute, with Pelton second in
59.27, Sarah Denninghoff third in 59.75, and Rachel Bootsma fourth in 59.90.
Bootsma had defeated Franklin in Thursday's 50 backstroke.
The championships serve as the qualifier for the American team at the World
Swimming Championships in Barcelona. Winners automatically make the squad.
Franklin, the 18-year-old whose five medals at the London Games included
four gold and one bronze, has qualified automatically in six events (100 free,
200 free, 100 back, 200 back, 4x100 relay, 4x200 relay).
After talking with coach Todd Schmitz, she also planned to enter the less
familiar 200m individual medley on Saturday.
"Todd and I feel really confident about how the meet went," said
Franklin, who will compete next year for the University of California.
"We've got a two-hour workout planned for tomorrow morning, and we're
going to get right back in it."
Katie Ledecky claimed her second title in four days, winning the women's
400-meter freestyle. The 16-year-old high school student took an early lead and
kept building it. She touched the wall in 4:04.05 for the year's third-fastest
time and a national age group record. Second was Chloe Sutton in 4:06.64.
Ledecky, the Olympic 800 free champion last year, won that event on Tuesday.
Connor Jaeger passed Conor Dwyer on the final lap of the men's 400 freestyle
to win in 3:45.89. Dwyer was subsequently disqualified for a false start, with
Matt McLean, who finished in 3:46.14, moving into second place.
Jaeger, whose time is the fifth-fastest for 2013, was Tuesday's 1500 free
Breeja Larson took the rubber match in the women's breaststroke events,
catching Jessica Hardy in the last 25 meters of the 100m. Larson's time was 1:06.16
- the year's third-quickest - with Hardy, the world record-holder, second in
1:06.49. Earlier, Larson had won the 200 breaststroke with Hardy taking first
in the 50 breast.
Kevin Cordes won his second breaststroke title in the men's 100. Cordes was
on American-record pace at 50 meters, and wound up with the number-three time
on this year's list at 59.99. Nic Fink was the runner-up in 1:00.24.
In the men's 100 backstroke, David Plummer earned his second national crown
at the meet with a time of 53.10, third-fastest in the world for 2013.
Plummer, first in Thursday's 50 back, bested Matt Grevers, last year's
Olympic 100 backstroke champion. Grevers' time of 53.25 is fourth on the
current world list. Also cracking the 2013 top 10 list was third-placed Ryan Murphy.
The 17-year-old Murphy lowered his own national age group record with a time of
Results of finals on Friday on the fourth day of the US Swimming Championships and world championship trials:
400m Freestyle: 1. Connor Jaeger 3:45.89, 2. Matt McLean 3:46.14, 3. Charlie Houchin 3:47.16
100m Breaststroke: 1. Kevin Cordes 59.99, 2. Nic Fink 1:00.24, 3. Mike Alexandrov 1:00.39
100m Backstroke: 1. David Plummer 53.10, 2. Matt Grevers 53.25, 3. Ryan Murphy 53.38
400m Freestyle: 1. Katie Ledecky 4:04.05, 2. Chloe Sutton 4:06.64, 3. Haley Anderson 4:09.60
100m Breaststroke: 1. Breeja Larson 1:06.16, 2. Jessica Hardy 1:06.49, 3. Micah Lawrence 1:07.27
100m Backstroke: 1. Missy Franklin 58.67, 2. Elizabeth Pelton 59.27, 3. Sarah Denninghoff 59.75