US olympian Missy Franklin starts the women's 200 backstroke during the Saturday championship finals of the 2013 Arena International Santa Clara Grand Prix at the George F. Haines International Swim Center. Frankin won in a time of 2:08.24.
Courtesy of: Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports
Editorial coverage sponsored by SpeedoUSA

By Gwynne Freeman

FEDERAL WAY, Washington, March 16. TONIGHT, Colorado Stars' Missy Franklin had a chance to show off her versatility after two close calls in terms of American records the first two nights at the Speedo Champions Series. Versatility is the name of the game in college, and Todd Schmitz's pupil definitely demonstrated it in spades tonight.


She clocked a meet-record time of 51.18 in the women's 100-yard back to open the night. That beat her previous meet record of 52.70 from prelims, and is the second fastest she's ever been in the shorter distance dorsal. Her best time ever is a 50.97 from the Arena Grand Prix in Minneapolis. KING's Hannah Weiss (52.89) and Phoenix's Noriko Inada (54.23) took second and third in the finale.

Franklin then won the women's 500-yard free in a sizzling 4:34.62. That swim smashed her previous personal record of 4:41.72 from this year's Colorado state high school championships last month. Her performance this evening also shot her just outside the top 15 all time in the event, behind No. 15 Meredith Budner's 4:34.56. Franklin's ability in nearly any event must be making California head coach Teri McKeever salivate at the possibility of inserting her into the collegiate lineup in nearly any event. RallySport's Christine Jennings (4:44.39) and DU Hilltopper Lauren Abruzzo (4:48.69) finished second and third.

Meanwhile, Scottsdale's Tyler Messerschmidt touched out Aces' Daryl Turner, 47.81 to 47.88, to win the men's 100-yard backstroke. Both swims beat Turner's prelim meet record of 47.97. That's the first time under 48 for Messerschmidt, having come into tonight with a pair of 48.75s as his best time before qualifying in 48.08. Turner also broke 48 for the first time with both his swims today. His best had been a 48.18 from the Colorado State High School Championships last May.

KING's Thane Maudslien placed third in 48.53, while his 14-year-old teammate Thomas Anderson took down the 13-14 U.S. National Age Group record with a fourth-place 48.73. That's the first time a 14-and-under has eclipsed the 49-second mark as Gray Umbach held the previous record with a 49.20 from 2009. Anderson's best had been a 49.39 from the 14-and-under PNS championships last December.

Carter Griffin, DU Hilltoppers reigned again in the shortest of the men's distance events the 500 free, hitting the wall with a 4:23.02. Martin Wallace, Jeffco Hurricanes (4:25.25) and Peter Kotson, Helena Lions Swim Team (4:25.72) battled the last 50 with Wallace just pulling ahead.

In the women's 100 breaststroke Carolyn McCann pulled down an impressive 1:00.93. Briana Jurries, Arizona Gold Swimming had a strong performance logging a time of 1:02.81. Emma Schanz, Spokane Waves Aquatic Team rounded out the top three with a time of 1:03.12. On the men's side Tommy Brewer, Current Swimming (54.32) pushed ahead at the finish to just out touch Kenneth Tiltges, UN-Utah (54.59). Michael King, UN-BYU finished third with a 55.92.

In the women's 100 fly event Jasmine Mau, Kamehameha Swim Club bested her sectional record setting performance from the morning session (53.08) by posting a time of 52.77. Michelle Cefal, Tualatin Hills Swim Club had a strong showing with her 53.54 time and Breanna Sapienza, Superior Stingray Swimming hit the wall at 54.46.

The men's 100 fly was an absolute slug-fest with 5 swimmers posting times in the 48's. Thane Maudslien, King Aquatics (48.05) just edged out Long Gutierrez, Cottonwood Heights Aquatic Team (48.17). Brent Creager, Arizona Gold Swimming (48.23), Daryl Turner, Aces Swim Club (48.76) and Chase Bublitz, (48.49) all threw down amazing swims. Ryan Hoffer, Scottsdale Aquatic Club made a solid showing in this finals heat as the only 14 year old (49.61).

In the women's 400 free relay the Colorado Stars (Madison Dirks, Lindsay Painton, Colleen Wixted, Missy Franklin) pulled out the win thanks to an absolutely amazing swim by Missy Franklin who posted a 46.72 on the final leg the gals posted a 3:22.65 finish. Scottsdale Aquatic Club (Victoria Toris, Samantha Fazio, Hannah Holman, Amy Bilquist) posted a second place finish and time of 3:23.32. The King Aquatic Club team of Ashley Sutherland, Felicity Cann, Heidi Vanderwel and Carolyn McCann were just out touched and posted a time of 3:23.36.

The Scottsdale Aquatic Club team of Nicholas Magana, Ryan Hoffer, Gabriel Espinosa and Tyler Messerschmidt dominated the competition with a time of 2:57.68. King Aquatic Team (Thomas Anderson, Tommy Thach, Logan Rysemus, Thane Maudslien) pulled in at 3:01.97. The Bellevue Club Swim Team of Niko Micin, Matthew Williams, Todd McCarthy and Edward Kim rounded out the top three with a time of 3:02.36.



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