INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana, June 28. COLORADO Stars' Missy Franklin threw down a U.S. Open and meet record in the women's 100-meter backstroke to close out her 2013 U.S. Nationals campaign.
Franklin came home in a sizzling time of 29.75 to salt away the U.S. Open and meet record with a world-best time of 58.67 in a heat that featured a remarkable four swimmers under 1:00. Her performance bettered her 2012 U.S. Open record of 58.85, and demolished the previous world best of 58.84 clocked by Aya Terakawa at the Japanese Nationals.
The swim sends Franklin off to focus on the Barcelona World Championship with her fourth title of the meet, as she has elected to scratch the women's 200-meter IM tomorrow.
California's Elizabeth Pelton is making sub-1:00 a habit after taking a few years to get back to the rarified air of that time. She matched her preliminary lifetime best of 59.27 with the same clocking this evening. That time kept her fourth in the world behind only Franklin, Terakawa and Emily Seebohm (59.17).
Longhorn's Sarah Denninghoff broke 1:00 for the first time with a 59.75 to take third. That swim bettered her prelim time of 1:00.39 that also served as her lifetime best, and vaulted her to seventh in the world.
California's Rachel Bootsma took home fourth with a time of 59.90, just her seventh time under 1:00. She still moved into the top 10 in the world with the swim, giving the U.S. a ridiculous four out of the top 10 swimmers in the world. And, that could get even scarier when three of them train together at California next year with Franklin, Pelton and Bootsma all swimming for the Golden Bears collegiately.
GTAC's Olivia Smoliga (1:00.38), SwimMAC's Kathleen Baker (1:00.62), North Coast's Kendyl Stewart (1:01.14) and Athens Bulldog Megan Romano (1:01.47) also competed in the championship finale.
Stanford's Felicia Lee celebrated with a huge personal best in the B final as she rocked a 1:00.81. That cut nearly a second from her lifetime best of 1:01.75 from prelims. She's cut a second-and-a-half from her best this year, having entered 2013 with a 1:02.52 top time. Not bad for someone who just had shoulder surgery last fall.
PASA's Ally Howe turned in a 1:02.19 to win the C final. That's her lifetime best, clearing the 1:02.42 she set this morning during prelims. She came into the meet with a 1:02.77 from 2011 Junior Nationals.