Missy Franklin’s Unreal Anchor Leg Secures 800 Free Relay Victory for California

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MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota, March 21. THE day might have started off tough for California with a preliminary disqualification in the 200 medley relay, but it certainly ended well as Missy Franklin posted one of the most epic anchor legs in swimming history during the 800-yard free relay at the NCAA Division I Women’s Championships.

Franklin, who already set the American record to win the 200 free earlier in the night, threw down a stunning anchor leg of 1:40.08. Along with that special swim, California’s Rachael Acker (1:45.46), Caroline Piehl (no split avail) and Elizabeth Pelton (no split avail) closed out with a winning time of 6:54.94. Franklin entered the water trailing by 2.5 seconds, but had more than enough to secure the title.

Georgia’s Shannon Vreeland (1:43.10), Amber McDermott (1:44.81), Jordan Mattern (1:44.52) and Brittany MacLean (1:42.66) managed to take second in 6:55.09, while Stanford missed a relay title for the first time this meet as Julia Anderson (1:45.46), Maya DiRado (1:42.70), Nicole Stafford (1:44.21) and Lia Neal (1:43.25) took third in 6:55.62.

With the finish, Georgia remained in the team-title lead with 369 points, ahead of Stanford’s 297 and California’s 283. That’s good news for the Bulldogs as they are famous for their final day point-scoring onslaught.

Franklin’s magical anchor ended a four-year winning streak by Georgia, delivering the Golden Bears their fourth win in the event’s history. California previously won in 2004, 2007 and 2009 with the likes of Natalie Coughlin and Dana Vollmer appearing on those relays.

California wound up winning by just .15, but that’s not the closest in NCAA history in the event as Stanford clipped Southern California, 7:11.28 to 7:11.34, by just .06 in 1996.

Meanwhile, USC (7:001.8), Virginia (7:01.81), Minnesota (7:02.43), Texas A&M (7:02.66) and Florida (7:03.83) closed out the top eight in the timed final event.

Splits
1 California 6:53.57 6:54.94 40
1) Acker, Rachael SO 2) r:0.18 Piehl, Caroline JR
3) r:0.54 Pelton, Elizabeth SO 4) r:0.36 Franklin, Missy FR
r:+0.81 24.74 51.66 (51.66)
1:18.70 (1:18.70) 1:45.46 (1:45.46)
2:09.23 (23.77) 2:35.75 (50.29)
3:02.52 (1:17.06)
3:53.96 ( ) 4:20.70 ( )
4:47.85 ( ) 5:14.86 ( )
5:37.87 (23.01) 6:03.25 (48.39)
6:29.26 (1:14.40) 6:54.94 (1:40.08)
2 Georgia 6:53.04 6:55.09 34
1) Vreeland, Shannon SR 2) r:0.51 McDermott, Amber JR
3) r:0.34 Mattern, Jordan JR 4) r:0.31 MacLean, Brittany SO
r:+0.77 24.63 50.63 (50.63)
1:16.87 (1:16.87) 1:43.10 (1:43.10)
2:07.15 (24.05) 2:33.66 (50.56)
3:00.71 (1:17.61) 3:27.91 (1:44.81)
3:52.08 (24.17) 4:18.27 (50.36)
4:45.18 (1:17.27) 5:12.43 (1:44.52)
5:36.45 (24.02) 6:02.52 (50.09)
6:29.21 (1:16.78) 6:55.09 (1:42.66)
3 Stanford 6:58.23 6:55.62 32
1) Anderson, Julia SO 2) r:0.33 DiRado, Maya SR
3) r:0.20 Stafford, Nicole FR 4) r:0.27 Neal, Lia FR
r:+5.64 25.14 51.84 (51.84)
1:18.82 (1:18.82) 1:45.46 (1:45.46)
2:09.34 (23.88) 2:35.52 (50.06)
3:01.85 (1:16.39) 3:28.16 (1:42.70)
3:52.66 (24.50) 4:18.95 (50.79)
4:45.38 (1:17.22) 5:12.37 (1:44.21)
5:36.33 (23.96) 6:02.70 (50.33)
6:29.36 (1:16.99) 6:55.62 (1:43.25)

Team Standings
1. Georgia 369
2. Stanford 297
3. California 285
4. Texas A&M 226.5
5. USC 189
6. Tennessee 155
7. Florida 154
8. Texas 119
9. Minnesota 91.5
10. Arizona 84

Results For: NCAA Division I Women’s Championships: Day Two Finals

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Author: Jason Marsteller

Jason Marsteller is the general manager of digital properties at Swimming World. He joined Swimming World in June 2006 as the managing editor after previous stints as a media relations professional at Indiana University, the University of Tennessee, Southern Utah University and the Utah Summer Games.

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