SANTA CLARA – Victories by Missy Franklin in the 100-meter backstroke, Caitlin Leverenz in the 200-meter individual medley and Cierra Runge in the 800-meter freestyle highlighted the Golden Bears’ performances at the Arena Grand Prix at Santa Clara Sunday.
Franklin, who also won the 200 freestyle Saturday, led a backstroke final that included four Cal swimmers among the nine competitors. With a surge over the final 50 meters, Franklin touched the wall in 1:00.99, while Elizabeth Pelton was third in 1:01.48, with Rachel Bootsma sixth in 1:02.23 and Melanie Klaren eighth in 1:02.60.
Leverenz, a 2012 Olympic bronze medalist in the 200 IM, won the race in 2:12.61, and sophomore-to-be Celina Li took fifth in 2:16.49. Both Leverenz (5th, 2:14.02) and Li (1st in B final, 2:15.76) swam in the 200 butterfly, as well.
Runge, who will be a freshman for the Bears in the fall, captured the 800 free in 8:26.71.
Franklin, who nudged a lane line in her opening 50 Saturday after slamming into it during a third-place finish in the 200 back Saturday, said she was still pleased with her overall performance.
“Absolutely,” Franklin said. “Coming into this meet, we just wanted to have fun and see where we were at. There’s definitely a lot to improve. But it was an awesome race and I’m really happy with it. Hopefully, we’ll get in another couple of good weeks of training, and then it’s time for nationals.”
Many of the Bears will be racing next at the Los Angeles Invitational July 17-20 before heading to Irvine for the 2014 Phillips 66 National Championships Aug. 6-10.
For complete results from the Grand Prix meet in Santa Clara, click here.