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Five-time Olympic medalist wins again at Swimming Nationals

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Article Courtesy of USA Swimming

Missy Franklin (Centennial, Colo.) won her third 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.

Franklin has now qualified for the U.S. World Championships Team in four events – the 100m free and 200m free, the 100m and 200m back. She finished first in all but the 50m back this week.

“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 (Baltimore, Md.) 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 the World Championships Team. Franklin’s time was the fastest in the world this year.

In addition to Franklin, each of the winners and runner-ups in Friday night’s individual events qualified for the World Championships Team. The winners of the 50m breast, back and fly were also added to the Worlds roster today.

Olympic gold medalist Katie Ledecky (Bethesda, Md.) 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 (Mission Viejo, Calif.) 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. Like Franklin, Ledecky has qualified for the team in four events, including those already mentioned and the 200m free and the 4x200m free relay.

Olympian Connor Jaeger (Fair Haven, N.J.) 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 (Sterling, Va.), who touched in 3:46.14.

Olympian Breeja Larson (Mesa, Ariz.) and Kevin Cordes (Naperville, Ill.), 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 (Long Beach, Calif.) by 33-hundreths of a second (1:06.49).

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 (Morristown, N.J.) 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.

David Plummer (Oklahoma City, Okla.) won the final individual event of the night, out-touching Olympic champion Matt Grevers (Lake Forest, Ill.) 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.

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.

Complete Phillips 66 National Championships information, including results and competition schedules, is available online at www.usaswimming.org/nationals. Prelims will be held each day at 9 a.m. EDT, followed by finals at 6 p.m. EDT. Tickets are required for each session and can be purchased on-site at the Natatorium.