Missy Franklin third in 100 freestyle at NCAA Championships

Missy Franklin
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Missy Franklin finished her first NCAA Championships with a first, second and third over three individual events.

Franklin, 18, took third in the 100-yard freestyle in Minneapolis on Saturday after winning the 200 free Friday and placing runner-up in the 500 free Thursday.

Arizona’s Margo Geer defended her 100 free title in 47.10 seconds. Stanford’s Lia Neal, a 2012 Olympian, took second in 47.17, followed by Franklin in 47.26.

Her Cal team finished third, behind repeat champion Georgia and Stanford, after coming into the meet with aspirations of winning its fourth NCAA title in six years.

Franklin excelled in her first season of NCAA swimming, transitioning from international pools that are 50 meters long to short course yards (25-yard pools). She swept the 100, 200 and 500 frees at the Pac-12 Championships and entered the NCAA Championships as the No. 1 seed in the 100 and 200 and No. 2 in the 500.

She swam more freestyle than backstroke this season, as she is more valuable to the Cal team in freestyle. Franklin is the Olympic and world champion in the 100 and 200 back.

What’s next for Franklin?

It’s likely back to the international-size pools this spring and summer. There are USA Swimming Grand Prix meets in April, May and June, the U.S. Championships in August and the year’s biggest meet, the Pan Pacific Championships in Australia, later in August.

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