By BETH HARRIS,
AP Sports Writer
IRVINE, Calif. (AP)
-- Missy Franklin missed out at the U.S. national championships, failing to
qualify for the two biggest meets leading up to the 2020 Olympics.
make the final in either of her events and as a result will miss next
month’s Pan Pacific championships in Tokyo and the 2019 world championships.
She led through the
first three laps in the C final of the 200-meter freestyle on Thursday night
before fading to third and touching in 1 minute, 59.15 seconds.
really, really hard the past seven months, and was definitely hoping it
would show up a little bit more,” Franklin said.
The four-time gold
medalist at the 2012 London Games didn’t enter her signature backstroke
events, having undergone two shoulder surgeries at the start of last year.
averted a potential crisis in the morning preliminaries, swimming in a
practice suit after her racing suit split.
Olympic champion wasn’t the only one having a wardrobe malfunction.
several swimmers’ suits were sticking to them and tearing, in part because
of the near 90-degree heat in the morning and steamy conditions from showers
running constantly in the locker room.
“It was a blessing
in disguise because it really pushed me to get out of my comfort zone and
really race this morning,” she said. “Kind of tried to take that same energy
and apply it tonight in a racing suit. Just made my morning a little bit
Ledecky led all the
way to win the 200 free, earning a second individual event to swim in Japan
first in 1 minute, 54.60 seconds, second-fastest in the world this year
behind her top time of 1:54.56 she swam in June. Looking on was Lakers great
Kobe Bryant and one of his daughters.
for her second event at the Pan Pacific championships in Tokyo in August
after winning the 800 free on Wednesday.
Swimming in the
next lane, three-time Olympian Allison Schmitt chased Ledecky the entire
race and finished second in 1:55.82.
Schmitt was buoyed
by supportive messages from friend Michael Phelps in her comeback that began
full-time in January.
“He just reminded
me that swimming is such a small part of life,” she said. “You’re still
loved by the same people.”
Also earning trips
to Japan were third-place Gabby Deloof and Olympian Leah Smith, who was
qualified for the 4x200 free relay at Pan Pacs, reuniting Ledecky and
Schmitt, who first swam a relay together at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games.
“I’m really excited
about it. This is one of our best relays historically,” Ledecky said. “We’ve
kind of been hovering around the world record that’s been standing for a
really long time. If we can challenge that, that would be really exciting.
surprised a field including five Olympians to win the men’s 200 free in
1:45.70, third-quickest in the world this year.
Micah Sumrall, who
took time off after failing to make the 2016 Olympic team, won the 200
breaststroke by 1.26 seconds. Sumrall, who used to swim under her maiden
name of Lawrence, touched in 2:22.06, fourth-best in the world this year.
Lilly King, the Olympic 100 breast champion, was fifth.
The men’s 200
breast winner was 2016 Olympic silver medalist Josh Prenot in 2:07.28, the
world’s fastest time this year.
There was a tie for
first in the women’s 200 backstroke between 2016 Olympian Kathleen Baker and
16-year-old Regan Smith. Their time of 2:06.43 was third-quickest in the
world this year and a junior world record for Smith.
“It was crazy,” a
breathless Smith said.
Ryan Murphy, who
swept the backstroke events in Rio, won the men’s 200 back in 1:54.15,
second-best in the world this year.