Franklin sets U.S. Open record in Indy


Missy Franklin won the 100m back at 2013 Nationals. (Medium)INDIANAPOLIS – Five-time Olympic medalist Missy Franklin won her fourth event of the meet Friday at the 2013 Phillips 66 National Championships and World Championship Trials, setting a meet and U.S. Open record in the women’s 100m backstroke with a time of 58.67. It was the fastest time in the world this year.


Franklin has now qualified for the U.S. World Championships Team in five events – the 100m freestyle, the 200m freestyle, the 100m backstroke, the 200m backstroke and the 4x200m free relay. She finished first in each event she's swum this week except the 50m back. She was runner-up in that event on Thursday.


Franklin and the team will compete in the pool July 28-Aug. 4 at the 15th FINA World Championships in Barcelona.


“The main goal is to be faster in four weeks than we were right now,” Franklin said. “I think that’s the goal for everyone. It will definitely be about the little technicalities the next four weeks. (Coach) Todd (Schmitz) and I will sit down and review what we need to do for each event, but I think for the most part, each event has different things I need to work on, which is fun. There’s always room for improvement.”


In the 100m back, Franklin trailed U.S. National Teamer Elizabeth Pelton by three-hundredths of a second at the turn, but dug deep the final 15 meters for the win. Pelton was second in 59.27, qualifying for World Championships Team.


“I think the whole field was right there at the 50,” Franklin said. “I knew I had to bring it back that last half, so it was tough. It hurt a lot. It’s the hardest, but that’s my favorite part – that last 15 meters.”


In addition to Franklin, each of the champions in Friday night’s individual events won their second titles of the meet and has qualified for the World Championships Team in multiple events.


Olympic gold medalist Katie Ledecky started it off with a win in the women’s 400m freestyle, outdistancing the rest of the field by more than two and a half seconds and setting a 15-16 national age group record with a time of 4:04.05. It was the third-fastest time in the world this year. Chloe Sutton was second in 4:06.64.


Ledecky and Sutton qualified for the World Championships Team on the first night of competition with their 1-2 finish in the 800m free. Ledecky has qualified for the team in four events, including those already mentioned, and the 200m free and the 4x200m free relay.


“I’m excited for the challenge,” Ledecky said. “I’ve swum all these events before throughout age group, and I’m excited to get prepared for it. It’s going to be hard, but I’m ready to take it on.”


Olympian Connor Jaeger qualified for his second World Championships event, winning the men’s 400m free in 3:45.89, just 15-hundredths of a second ahead of Olympic teammate Matt McLean, who touched in 3:46.14.
Jaeger trailed Olympian Conor Dwyer all the way through the last 30 meters of the race, but surged ahead down the homestretch for the win.


“I know you’ve got to burn the legs coming home,” Jaeger said. “I just put my head down and tried to keep my stroke together. "


It was Jeager’s second title of the week after winning the 1500m free on day one. He will likely be added to the team in the 4x200 free relay after his sixth-place finish in the 200m free on Wednesday. McLean, meanwhile, has also qualified for the team in the 4x200m free relay.


“The 1500 gives you a lot of time to shift into the race,” Jaeger said. “I feel in the 400, you’ve got to go right away.”
Olympian Breeja Larson and Kevin Cordes, both winners in the women’s and men’s 200m breaststroke on Wednesday, won the 100m breast on Friday, turning in times of 1:06.16 and 59.99, respectively.


Larson’s time was the third-fastest in the world this year, edging out fellow Olympian Jessica Hardy by 33-hundreths of a second. Larson will now represent the U.S. in the 100m and 200m breast, while Hardy has qualified for the team in the 50m and 100m breast.


In the men’s 100m breast, Cordes was out under American-record pace at the 50-meter mark and was able to hold off Nic Fink down the homestretch for the win. Fink was second in 1:00.24 and punched his ticket to the World Championships next month in Barcelona.


The race marked the first time Cordes swam under a minute in this event.


“I’ve been trying since last Olympic Trials to do that, and I just made it,” Cordes said. “I think I proved to myself that I’m not just a yards swimmer. I can swim meters, too.”


David Plummer won the final individual event of the night, out-touching Olympic champion Matt Grevers in the 100m back, 53.10 to 53.25. It Plummer’s second win of the week after taking the 50m back on Thursday. This is the first individual event in which Grevers qualified for the World Championships team. He also finished sixth in the 100m free on the first night of competition and will likely be eligible to swim on the 4x100m free relay.


The 2013 Phillips 66 National Championships and World Championship Trials will conclude Saturday with the men’s and women’s 200m IM and 50m freestyle, and the men’s 800m free and women’s 1500m free.


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