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Saturday, November 12, 2011
Michael Phelps wins two more events

Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS -- Michael Phelps says he's been in his toughest training phase since before the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

The work is showing in his results.

Phelps won two more races at the Minneapolis Grand Prix and 44-year-old Dara Torres finished third in her only event of the weekend Saturday night.

Phelps won the 200-meter butterfly in 1 minute, 56.12 seconds and added his fourth top finish in four chances by winning the 100 backstroke in 53.71. Six-time Olympic medalist Ryan Lochte finished fourth in the 100 backstroke with a time of 55.80.

Phelps won the 200 freestyle and 100 butterfly Friday as part of the three-day competition at the University of Minnesota.

"The last probably three or four weeks has probably been the most challenging weeks I've had since before Beijing," Phelps said. "So, there's been a lot of work that's getting taken care of. We're on the right path. We just have to be able to stay on this path for the next couple months."

Torres tied for third in the 50 freestyle, touching the wall in 25.30. Amanda Weir won in 25.04. Jessica Hardy was second in 25.10, and Kara Lynn Joyce tied Torres for third.

Torres is trying to qualify for her sixth Olympics.

"I love competing," Torres said. "I guess I'm trying to defy the odds a little bit and sort of pushing the limits to see what I can do. It's been fun."

Swimming in the same event as Torres, 16-year-old Missy Franklin finished sixth in 25.59. Franklin was the women's swimmer of the meet in Minnesota last year and won the overall Grand Prix series title.

Franklin won the women's 100 backstroke at 59.69.

"Really, really good," Franklin said. "I am so happy with everything that is going on right now. The first Grand Prix meet of the season, my second meet of the season. I think I've had some of my fastest in-season times, so I'm absolutley thrilled. I'm having so much fun. This was my favorite meet last year and its definitely living up to the expectations again."

Allison Schmitt won her second event of the competition, taking the 400 freestyle in 4:07.78. Schmitt, an Olympian in 2008, won the 200 freestyle Friday.

The Minneapolis Grand Prix is the first of seven stops this season on USA Swimming's Grand Prix series and is another step closer to the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials in Omaha, Neb., and the 2012 London Games.

The top swimmer in the Grand Prix series will receive $20,000, to be awarded at the final event in June in Santa Clara, Calif.