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OMAHA, Nebraska, June 26. AFTER trading the Trials textile best this morning with a pair of sub-1:00 times, Missy Franklin of the Colorado Stars and Rachel Bootsma of the Aquajets did the same with the American textile best in the women's 100 back semis at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials.
Bootsma opened up the first semifinal with a sizzling time of 59.10 to move into the top 10 all time at 10th, and clipping the American textile best of 59.12 posted by Natalie Coughlin at the 2011 World Championships in Shanghai. The time also stands fourth in the world this year behind only Anastasia Zueva (58.97), Franklin (59.06) and Aya Terakawa (59.08).
Franklin, however, progressed the American textile best — and the 17-18 national age group record — even further in the second semifinal with a stunning time of 59.06 to move to second in the world behind Zueva, and better her previous lifetime best of 59.18. Franklin's 59.06 also jumped her to eighth-fastest performer in the world all-time, and the second-fastest American all time behind only Natalie Coughlin, who owns a 58.94 relay leadoff during the 2008 Beijing Games and a 58.97 at the 2008 Trials during the techsuit era. After winning the world title in the women's 200 back last year with a textile best 2:05.10, Franklin is looking for gold of an Olympic variety.
GTAC's Olivia Smoliga provided the third sub-1:00 time of the semifinals with a third-ranked 59.82 to move to eighth in the world this year, but will have some time to make up to try to catch Franklin or Bootsma in the finale for an Olympic bid.
T2's Elizabeth Pelton (1:00.31), Tennessee's Jenny Connolly (1:00.58) and Athens Bulldog Megan Romano (1:00.61) picked up fourth through sixth in the semifinals, while two-time defending champion Natalie Coughlin has some work to do after placing seventh with a 1:00.63. Another Colorado-based prospect, Bonnie Brandon, completed the top eight with the final transfer spot after posting a 1:00.76.