Editorial coverage sponsored by SpeedoUSA
By Gwynne Freeman
FEDERAL WAY, Washington, March 15. LAST night, Missy Franklin of the Colorado Stars nearly took down the American record in the 200-yard backstroke. This evening at the Speedo Champions Series stop in Federal Way, she nearly did it in the 200-yard freestyle.
Franklin charted a blistering time of 1:41.81. That crushed her previous meet mark of 1:44.55 from 2010, and broke her lifetime best effort of 1:42.28 from the Minneapolis stop of the Arena Grand Prix series last November. She's just the fifth swimmer ever to break the 1:42 mark behind Megan Romano (1:41.21), Dana Vollmer (1:41.53) and Natalie Coughlin (1:41.66), and ahead of Allison Schmitt (1:41.90).
Later, Franklin clocked a 22.01 50-yard free leadoff as the Colorado Stars' team of Franklin, Colleen Wixted, Madison Dirks and Lindsay Painton took second in the 200-yard free relay with a 1:33.49. That's another lifetime best for Franklin, as her previous top time was a 22.15 also at the Minneapolis stop of the Arena Grand Prix.
The relatively calm prelims session that found the top seeds coasting into their respective slots indicated that they were saving themselves for finals and it was going to be a fast and furious session.
Tyler Messerschmidt, Scottsdale Aquatic Club, threw down a 1:34.17 in the men's 200 free event and in the process destroyed the former sectional record of 1:35.60 by Uger Tanner from 1992.
Rounding out the top finishers in the women's 200 free were Alexandra Malazdrewicz, Jeffco Hurricanes (1:45.72) and Katarina Simonovic, Arizona Gold Swimming (1:48.36). On the men's 200 free side Edward Kim, Bellevue Club Swim Team (1:36.92) come in second and Thane Maudslien, King Aquatic Club and Long Gutierrez, Cottonwood Heights Aquatic Team tied for a third place finish with a time of 1:37.62.
In the women's 400 IM Kimberly Williams of Bellevue Club Swim Team went out strong and never relinquished the lead posting a time of 4:12.80. Briana Jurries, Arizona Gold Swimming (4:15.50) battled with Haley Rowley, Hilltoppers (4:15.57) for the second and third spots.
Rafael Alfaro, UN-BYU dominated the men's 400 IM and pulled down a time of 3:50.49. Abrahm DeVine, Cascade Swim Club finished a strong second at 3:51.65. Bryce Kananowicz, Coer D'Alene Area Swim Team finished third with a 3:54.45.
Scottsdale Aquatic Club dominated the 200 free relay events with wins on both the men's and women's side. The women's SAC relay team of Victoria Toris, Amy Bilquist, Samantha Fazio and Angel Van Hofwegen at 1:32.95 edged past the Missy Franklin lead Colorado Stars relay team (Missy Franklin, Colleen Wixted, Madison Dirks, Lindsay Painton) which posted a second place finish and a time of 1:33.54. The King Aquatic Club team of Ashley Sutherland, Kenna Ramey, Heidi Vanderwel, Carolyn McCann pulled in a close third with a time of 1:33.54.
The Scottsdale A team of Tyler Messerschmidt, Daren Brubaker, Gabriel Espinosa and Ryan Hoffer wowed the crowed with an impressive win of 1:19.79. Pulling in second was the Scottdale B team of Garrett Swanson, Nicholas Magana, Kenneth Stirling and Jake Blake (1:22.64). Bellevue Club Swim Team (Niko Micin, Edward Kim, Alec Barnard, Matthew Williams) finished third at 1:22.75.