KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – California maintained its pace on the second day the AT&T Winter Nationals meet Friday with five victories in seven events, including wins by Missy Franklin in the 200-yard freestyle and 100-yard backstroke. In addition, Celina Li captured the 400 IM in convincing fashion and the Golden Bears swept both the 200 medley relay and the 800 free relay.
Thursday’s opening round saw Cal swimmers claim victory in three races plus a school record from Franklin in the 500 free.
In the most impressive showing of Cal’s strength and depth Friday, five Bears earned berths in the 100 back final, lining up in lanes 1-5. Franklin, Elizabeth Pelton and Rachel Bootsma engaged in a close battle from start to finish. In the end, Franklin out-touched her teammates to win in 51.59. Pelton was next in 51.70 with Bootsma third in 51.86. Melanie Klaren placed fourth in 52.21 and Stephanie Au came in sixth in 52.57. Add in Cindy Tran’s 52.38 time that captured the B final, and Cal ended up posting the top five times of the night.
Earlier in the evening, Franklin and Katie Ledecky went head to head for the second time in two days, this time in the 200 free. Franklin, the world champion in the 200-meter free, held a slight edge throughout before a final kick pushed her to the wall in 1:41.04, which smashed the meet record set by former Cal standout Dana Vollmer in 2009 by nearly a full second. Ledecky came in second in 1:42.03, with Pelton taking third in 1:44.71. Three other Bears were in the final, as well – Caroline Piehl (5th, 1:45.26), Camille Cheng (7th, 1:45.67) and Rachael Acker (8th, 1:48.60). On Thursday, Ledecky edged Franklin in the 500 free.
Li led from start to finish in the 400 IM and closed out the race in 4:06.54, more than two seconds ahead of runner-up Chelsie Miller from Kansas, who was timed in 4:08.86. Kelly Naze captured sixth for the Bears in 4:13.05.
In a second consecutive race after the IM, Li took fourth in the 100 butterfly in 52.52. Tran was disqualified in the final after losing her goggles during the race and taking them off. In the B final, freshman Sophia Batchelor won in 52.51, and Farida Osman was second in 53.24.
Cal’s top finisher in the 100 breaststroke was freshman Marina Garcia, who placed 13th in 1:01.50.
The Bears captured both relays on the day, opening the session with a win in the 200 medley relay. The foursome of Tran, Garcia, Osman and Kaylin Bing touched the wall in 1:36.91, while the Cal B squad of Stephanie Au, Bootsma, Batchelor and Acker were fourth in 1:38.57.
In the 800 free relay, Golden Bears took the first two spots. Winning the event in a meet-record time of 6:59.11 were Franklin, Piehl, Cheng and Pelton. Franklin staked Cal to a more than three-second advantage after her leadoff leg. In addition, Li, Acker, Klaren and Catherine Breed were second in 7:04.49, which was also under the old championship mark of 7:05.69 set by USC in 2012.
Racing continues through Saturday. For complete results, click here.