NCAA Swimming Flashback: Missy Franklin Swims Sub-1:40 in 200 Free


NCAA Swimming Flashback: Missy Franklin Swims Sub-1:40 in 200 Freestyle for Signature Second of Faculty Profession

Lower than three years earlier, Missy Franklin had captured her first particular person Olympic gold medal, coming from behind to beat Australia’s Emily Seebohm within the girls’s 100-meter backstroke. A couple of days later, she received gold once more in a dominant 200 again efficiency, breaking the world file within the course of, and Franklin additionally helped the USA to a pair of relay triumphs. After every gold medal, Franklin flashed her trademark smile in a present of real pleasure, however her celebrations have been in any other case reserved.

However on this spring night in Greensboro, N.C., Franklin pumped her fist and slammed the water. This swim, during which she received her third of an eventual 4 particular person NCAA titles, meant one thing further particular.

It was the 200-yard freestyle last on the NCAA Championships, with Franklin, then a sophomore at Cal, swimming in lane 4. Franklin entered the race with possession of the American and NCAA data at 1:40.31, however sizzling on her heels was Stanford freshman Simone Manuel.

Franklin had overwhelmed Manuel by simply six hundredths (1:41.09 to 1:41.15) on the Pac-12 championships the earlier month, and Manuel had already received the 50 free and anchored a Stanford 400 medley relay to victory by making up a two-second deficit on her leg. Franklin was the defending NCAA champion and the reigning world champion within the 200-meter free, however many anticipated Manuel to prevail on this head-to-head affair.

Picture Courtesy: Evan Pike/USA TODAY Sports activities

As a substitute, Franklin totally dominated this race. As a substitute of following her traditional 200 technique of a quick construct, she went out arduous from the primary size, and he or she was already a half-bodylength forward of Manuel after 50 yards. On the midway level, she turned in 47.74, nearly a second underneath her American-record tempo. She continued scorching on the third 50, flipping in 1:12.91 to be 1.6 seconds forward, and regardless that she slowed a little bit bit on the way in which dwelling, it didn’t matter.

Franklin completed in 1:39.10 to demolish her earlier file of 1:40.
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31. She turned the primary girl underneath 1:40, and he or she did it in dramatic vogue. Manuel did place second, however she was greater than two seconds behind in 1:41.45.

Within the second, the swim was huge for Cal, and the Golden Bears scored 57 factors within the occasion to maneuver previous Georgia into the lead, and Cal would by no means give up that benefit on its solution to a fourth nationwide championship underneath head coach Teri McKeever. However to Franklin individually, that swim and that meet could be one she would always remember.

Even previous to her breakthrough Olympics in 2012, Franklin had deliberate on remaining an beginner so she might swim in faculty for 2 years earlier than turning skilled prematurely of the 2016 Olympics. World titles, world data and Olympic gold medals didn’t change that plan. When she lastly arrived at Cal, her first yr was a bit rocky.

At her first NCAA Championships, Franklin received only a single occasion, the 200 free, whereas she completed an in depth second place within the 500 free and third within the 100 free. That summer time, she had a rocky efficiency on the Pan Pacific Championships in Australia as she battled again ache, and one yr after profitable three particular person world titles, she ended up with only a single particular person medal, bronze within the 100 again.

Her sophomore yr NCAAs, nonetheless, noticed Franklin returning to the shape that made her swimming’s star on the London Olympics. She would additionally win the nationwide title in a wire-to-wire efficiency within the 200 IM, an occasion she by no means anticipated to swim on the nationwide stage, and he or she got here from behind to win the 200 again, narrowly lacking the American file within the course of. Nevertheless it was the 200 free that Franklin would bear in mind and label as one of many high swims of her superb profession. She even devoted a chapter in her 2016 autobiography to that efficiency.

Franklin turned skilled after that, and he or she returned dwelling to Colorado to coach underneath former coach Todd Schmitz main into the 2016 Olympics Video games. Franklin had an off efficiency in Rio, lacking the finals in each her particular person occasions whereas incomes a gold medal as a prelims relay swimmer, and accidents would derail her comeback makes an attempt sooner or later. Franklin retired in 2018, and in August 2021, she and husband Hayes Johnson welcomed their first baby, daughter Sarah Caitlin.

And 7 years later, that 200 free American file nonetheless stands. Just one different swimmer, Mallory Comerford, has ever cracked 1:40. She solely spent two years in faculty swimming, however her title nonetheless sits atop the file books within the 200 free. In reality, that file is the oldest of any particular person occasion contested on the NCAA Championships by two years.

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