Missy Franklin wins 100 backstroke title
STANFORD, Calif. -- Missy Franklin won the 100-meter backstroke at the U.S. national championships Wednesday with the fifth-fastest time in the world this year, while Ryan Lochte was beaten in the 100 backstroke.
Franklin, the 16-year-old phenom, touched in 59.18 seconds to win her first national title, two days after returning from the world championships.
"It feels absolutely amazing," she said, her youthful enthusiasm hardly dimmed by jet lag from the long flight and 15-hour time difference with Shanghai. "I'm so happy to be here."
Lochte, who won five golds in China, finished third in the men's 100 on his 27th birthday.
"I did everything I could," he said. "I'm running on 'E' right now and my coach knows it."
Franklin won three gold medals and a bronze in Shanghai, including the 200 backstroke title.
Rachel Bootsma was second at 59.65, joining Franklin as the only two women under 1 minute.
"I definitely did want to break 59, but being that close I'm still really happy with it," Franklin said. "It sets me up well for next year. There's still a lot I can improve on and that race kind of helped me out and showed me what I can do better."
Lochte was second at the turn before touching third behind Olympian Matt Grevers and Nick Thoman. Grevers, who didn't make the U.S. team for worlds, won in 53.14. Thoman, fourth in the 100 back in China, was second at 53.57.
"Anytime you can beat Ryan Lochte is a great time," a grinning Grevers said. "To win here is great, not completely fair because these guys had a long trip back from China, but a win's a win."
Lochte finished at 53.79 in the event that will likely determine whether he's included in the 4x100 medley relay at next year's London Olympics. He didn't swim the relay in China and needs a solid time to put his name in the mix.
"Backstroke was all right with how tired I am," said Lochte, who didn't make it out of the preliminaries in the 100 breaststroke on Tuesday.
He said he was taking the rest of the meet off. His immediate plans included a birthday dinner at his favorite restaurant, The Cheesecake Factory.
"I didn't know traveling across the world and then getting right into the pool would affect me that much and it definitely did," he said. "If I knew that before I wouldn't have pretty much wasted my time here. This meet's done. My season is over."
In other events, Peter Vanderkaay won the 200 free; Allison Schmitt took the women's 200 free; and Bobby Bollier, swimming in his home pool at Stanford, won the 200 butterfly.
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press
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