2014 Women’s NCAA Championship Quotes Day 2: Franklin, DiRado, Larson, Miller, Ryan

Felicia Lee, Stanford, 100-yard butterfly champion and member of 200-yard medley relay championship team

Maya DiRado, Stanford, 400-yard IM champion

Missy Franklin, California, 200-yard freestyle champion and member of 800-yard freestyle relay championship team

Breeja Larson, Texas A&M, 100-yard breaststroke champion

Paige Miller, Texas A&M, 100-yard backstroke champion

Laura Ryan, Georgia, 3-meter diving champion

Felicia Lee, Senior, Stanford

On her win in the 100-yard butterfly…

We started the night with a win in the 200-yard medley relay and Maya (DiRado) won the 400-yard IM, so we were really building momentum and everyone was getting really excited. When I stepped up for the 100 fly, I could feel the energy from my team and I just went out there and had the best swim I could’ve had.

On her training to swim in three events in one night…

I knew that today I would have a triple, and best-case scenario, I would be at my 12th race today. So, we trained really, really hard to get me strong enough to finish all of those races and still be able to compete with the best in the NCAA.

Maya DiRado, Senior, Stanford

On how it felt to win the 400-IM…

It felt great…about as good as a 400 IM can feel. I felt really strong coming back at the end, so that was really exciting. When you touch and see your time is in first place all of the pain goes away.

On winning the event against the strong field at NCAAs…

I have been racing (Elizabeth) Beisel for a while in the 400 IM, so it’s always fun to come out on top. She is such a great competitor and you know that when you are racing her it’s going to be a good time. So, it was nice to get my hand on the wall first.

On placing first after finishing in second and third the last few years…

It’s perfect. It’s exactly the way I want to go out as a senior and it is a good sign as to where this program is going. I just couldn’t ask for more.

Missy Franklin, Freshman, California

On posting an American record 1:40.31 to win the 200-yard freestyle…

I am so excited. I feel relieved. But, when I use the word relieved, you may think that it means I’m glad for it to be over, but I am definitely not glad for it to be over. I absolutely loved every second of it. It was an awesome heat and I just wanted to get out there for my girls.

On if she felt 100-percent all the way through the race…

I felt pretty good the whole way through. I knew that if I wanted to go for 1:40, which is what I really wanted to do, I was going to have to take it out really fast and then hold the best that I could.

On the fast time in her split on the 800-freestyle relay…

I was really happy with that. That was an incredible relay to be part of. Being the anchor, I knew that I had to do whatever I could to help us catch up, and for us to come back and win after a bit of a rough morning was really great for our team.

Breeja Larson, Senior, Texas A&M

About how special her victory was…

I honestly have to thank Steve for everything. He came to me right before the race, and I was really nervous, but he told me I have to finish the second half of the race strong. I have been working on it all four years, and I could not have done this without Steve Bultman.

About being a senior and leader on the team…

This team has made it so easy to lead because everyone is so spirited and comes in here to fight. It means a lot to me to be able to lead this team with Sarah Henry and Cammile Adams and my other fellow captains. I feel like together we have put together a really good team this year. Hopefully we will have the best finish that Texas A&M has ever had.

Paige Miller, Senior, Texas A&M

About the turning point of her race…

Definitely the last turn. It always comes down to the last turn, especially with Felicia (Lee of Stanford) and Cindy (Tran of California) beside me. They were all under water and I just tried to stay under longer than they would. I felt really good. I was 50.7 on the relays last night so I knew I could do it.

About the closeness of the team…

It has meant the world to me. Our team has grown together and raced together every day. I do this for them more than myself. You saw them all there when I won and that means everything to me.

Laura Ryan, Senior, Georgia

On if she thought she would win back-to-back diving events in her home pool…

1-meter diving isn’t really my event, so that was definitely a surprise yesterday. But, today was the one that I have been working for all season and I knew I could do it if I really just stayed focused and did everything that I have been training for. I’m just really excited.

On if diving back in Minnesota is an advantage for her…

Obviously, being in the pool that I grew up training in is huge for spotting and things like that, but honestly, just knowing that this is home gave me an overwhelming sense of

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About Gold Medal Mel Stewart

Gold Medal Mel Stewart

MEL STEWART Jr., aka Gold Medal Mel, won three Olympic medals at the 1992 Olympic Games. Mel's best event was the 200 butterfly. He is a former World, American, and NCAA Record holder in the 200 butterfly. As a writer/producer and sports columnist, Mel has contributed to Yahoo Sports, Universal Sports, …

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