Courtesy of: Peter H. Bick
PHOENIX, Arizona, March 25. AFTER such an exciting week of competition, we naturally had a tough time picking just one swim that was worthy of being called THE performance of the week.
After much discussion, we agreed that Missy Franklin's 200 freestyle American record at the women's NCAA Division I championships was the most impressive. Yes, we should probably have expected Missy to not only win the event, but also break Megan Romano's American record. But did anyone expect a 1:40.31? Even though Franklin said after the race that she was hoping to go 1:40-point, I can't imagine she believed a 1:40.3 was possible. Franklin took the race out extremely fast, splitting 48.71 at the 100-yard mark to lead the field by almost two seconds. Though it's a blistering pace, Franklin didn't fall off in the last 100, splitting 25.8 and 25.7 in the last two 50s.
Franklin put an exclamation mark on that swim with a 1:40.08 anchor leg to help Cal win the 800 free relay. We know Franklin is an amazing talent in the 200 free, with a world championship gold medal to her credit, but it does not diminish the gravity of this performance. Understand that before Friday night's swim, the idea of a female swimming 200 yards of freestyle was pretty much unfathomable. Like going under 2:20 in the 200long course breaststroke, it's now been done, and we might see some people joining Franklin in that rarified air soon.
So congratulations, Missy. You've earned the Speedo Performance of the Week.