GOLD COAST, Australia – Returning from back spasms that limited her training in the days leading up to the start of the Pan Pacific Championships, Cal sophomore Missy Franklin took to the water nonetheless, finishing third in the 100-meter backstroke and winning the B final of the 200 freestyle Thursday.
In her first event – the 200 free – Franklin ranked fourth overall but as the third American after the prelim results, which put her in the B final under Pan Pac rules that allow for only two swimmers from each country to compete in the A final.
At the night session, an inspired Franklin won her race in 1:56.04, a time that set the meet record (later broken by Katie Ledecky in the A final). Still, it was the second-fastest time overall and Franklin’s best mark of the year. In addition, Cal senior Camille Cheng, swimming for Hong Kong, was 11th in 1:58.99 (3rd in the B final).
A few minutes after the 200 free, Franklin returned for the A final in the 100 back, where she placed third in 1:00.30 behind a pair of Australians. Cal teammate Elizabeth Pelton finished seventh in the event in 1:01.37.
'I'm really proud of myself,” Franklin said. “It has nothing to do with my times, my places – just getting out and kind of fighting back against life right now. I got out there and raced, and a couple of days ago I didn't think I was going to be able to do that.''
In the 800 free, Golden Bear alum Lauren Boyle was runner-up to Ledecky in 8:18.87, which was less than three-tenths of a second off her own New Zealand record. Incoming Cal freshman Cierra Runge took fifth in 8:25.17 in her first race as a member of the U.S. National Team.
In the final women’s event of Day 1, Cal alum Caitlin Leverenz was 12th in the 200 butterfly in 2:11.64.
Racing at the Pan Pacific meet continues through Sunday. For complete results, click here.