USA Swimming Sectionals, Federal Way: Missy Franklin On Fire in Federal Way; Other Stars Shine

FEDERAL WAY, Washington, March 8. WHILE most of the other USA Swimming Sectionals that kicked off today focused on distance night, the Federal Way meet started with a bang as a full day of swimming took place in the Pacific Northwest.

Colorado Stars' Missy Franklin opened up the evening with a sterling time of 54.55, after posting a swift 54.83 during prelims of the women's 100 free. She has been faster this year with a 54.46 at the Austin Grand Prix in January. Teammate Kara Lynn Joyce turned in a second-place time of 55.22. Gold's Kate Simonovic wound up third overall in 56.78.

Franklin continued her strong performance with a meet-record time of 2:09.30 in the women's 200 back. During prelims, she clocked a 2:11.30 to best the meet record, and dropped that even further with a world-class time in the finale. Her best time this year is a 2:08.18 from the Austin Grand Prix, but the time compares favorably to other times in the event posted today at British Trials and in Italy. Mission Aurora's Bonnie Brandon finished second in 2:11.80 to move into the top 25, while Issaquah's Kathryn Kinnear took third in 2:16.30.

She finished the evening splitting a 2:00.74 on the Colorado Stars' 800 free relay second-place outing of 8:28.62. DU Hilltoppers won in 8:27.23.

Phoenix Swim Club's Roland Schoeman snared the men's 100 free crown in 49.67, breaking the meet record of 50.32 set by Ryk Neethling in 2004. Bellevue's Edward Kim took second in 51.35, while Ethan Hallowell placed third in 51.61.

The stars continued to be out in full force as Olympian Megan Jendrick won the women's 200 breast in 2:33.32 to secure her spot at the U.S. Olympic Trials. She is on the comeback trail after she and her husband, Nathan, welcomed son Daethan into the world on Oct. 19, 2011. DU Hilltopper Alicia Jensen took second in 2:33.83, while YMCA Westside's Erica Stock placed third in 2:35.30.

Thomas Brewer set the meet record in the men's 200 breast with a 2:19.56. That swim bettered the 2:20.07 set by John Rasmussen in 2004. Longmont's Connor Dwyer finished second in 2:20.85, while Tualatin Hills' Gabriel Rooker took third in 2:21.07.

Tualatin Hills' Michelle Cefal snagged the women's 200 fly title in 2:13.43. Issaquah's Kathryn Kinnear took her second podium of the night with a 2:16.36, while Fort Collins' Bailey Nero finished third in 2:17.83.

North Jeffco's Andrew Torres touched first in the men's 200 fly with a 2:01.78, nearly taking down a 1979 meet record of 2:01.44 set by Matt Rankin. Mission Aurora's John Martens placed second in 2:03.55, while Gold's Alex Schultz took third in 2:04.42.