Missy Franklin

Missy, Lochte impress in Minnesota

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Gold medalists Missy Franklin and Ryan Lochte had presumably spent more time shooting scenes for TV teen dramas than actually swimming since the London Games, but neither seemed too affected by the time off at this weekend’s Minnesota Grand Prix.

The Olympians finished with five wins each at the short-course meet, as Missy dominated the 200 back – which she holds the world record in – by nearly six seconds and Lochte coasted to victories in the 200 IM and the 200 back on Sunday to finish off his first big weekend back in the pool.

“After London I’ve just been doing so many different things like cameos for TV shows, all these appearances, and you can get caught up in it,” Lochte told the AP after winning his events Sunday. “But I knew if I wanted to go to short-course worlds, I had to stop all that and start training again.”

Lochte, who appeared in “30 Rock” and “90210” this fall, but has thus far shunned Hollywood to continue training for the Rio Games in Florida, also won the 200 freestyle, 100 butterfly, and 100 back in Minneapolis.

Missy, who kicked off the meet Friday by recording a personal best in the 200 free, seemed happy getting back to business after bouncing around the country on the post-London medai tour, appearing on “Pretty Little Liars,” and signing up to join U.S. Olympic swim coach Terri McKeever at Cal next fall.

“It’s been so long since London,” she said. “And I’ve been looking forward to this for so long, just to get back in the water and get racing again.”

Ida Keeling, 100 years old, sets world record at Penn Relays (video)

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Ida Keeling electrified the Penn Relays crowd with her 100-meter dash in 1 minute, 17.33 seconds on Saturday afternoon.

Keeling set a world record for fastest 100m by a woman 100 years and older. There is no data on USA Track and Field and masters athletics websites for a previous record holder.

“I’ll be 101 in a couple of weeks,” Keeling pointed out to NBC Sports’ Carolyn Manno after the race, a mixed-gender event for athletes 80 and older. “I’ve never seen nothing like this crowd. Maybe that’s what the excitement was.”

Keeling’s advice?

“Love yourself, do what you have to do and what you want to do,” she said. “Eat for nutrition, not for taste. And exercise at least once a day.”

More on Keeling is here.

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U.S. sprinters past, present trade relay barbs

Justin Gatlin
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PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The only loss for the Americans at the Penn Relays came in the men’s 4x100m, as the U.S. team bobbled its victory away on a bad baton handoff between Tyson Gay and Isiah Young for the final leg, which led to a disqualification.

Mike Rodgers and Justin Gatlin gave the Americans an early lead in the race, and things were moving along well during Gay’s third leg. But the muffed handoff for the final leg cost the Americans. Both the winning Jamaican squad and the second American team surpassed them.

Young finished third, but the team was disqualified because the handoff occurred outside the pass zone. The second U.S. team of Sean McLean, Wallace Spearman, Calesio Newman and Remontay McLain finished in 39.02.

The mistake led to some inflammatory comments from U.S. great Leroy Burrell about continued problems with handoffs by U.S. relay teams.

“Well, I think we’ve got to put our team together a little earlier, possibly,” Burrell said in a television interview. “I think, we’ve had the same coaches working with these guys for many years, and we’ve had failure after failure. So it’s possible that, you know, it might be time for a bit of a regime change with the leadership.

“I think the athletes have to be the catalysts that make that happen. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t be able to get the stick around. I saw thousands of relay teams yesterday — maybe not thousands, but hundreds of relay teams get it around. But the professionals can’t. That’s just not good for our sport.”

Rodgers didn’t take kindly to those remarks.

“People keep pointing their fingers and downing us, but nobody has ever tried to come out there and help us,” he said. “Nobody from the past. Not Carl [Lewis] or Leroy. They haven’t been out there. I can’t really respect their opinions because they’re supposed to be leaders in our sport and in the USA, and they’re not coming out there to drop some knowledge on us, so I don’t care what they have to say.”

Lewis criticized U.S. relays in March.

Gatlin was equally critical of Burrell.

“I’m tired of people who have been part of Team USA take shots at Team USA,” Gatlin said. “To put us in the same boat as high schoolers is insulting.”

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