Last night at the Winter National Championships, Missy Franklin came within .02 seconds of Elizabeth Pelton’s American Record in the 200 backstroke.
Maybe feeling that the record was on the ropes and that she’d like to hold on to it for a while longer, Pelton swam a 1:48.90 to knock a few tenths off of her old record of 1:49.16 that was set at the 2011 Maryland Senior Champs meet in March of that year.
Franklin will join Pelton at Cal next season, creating a training group that includes the two best yards 200 backstrokers in American history. If Natalie Coughlin continues training at Cal, one could argue that this group with Cindy Tran and Rachel Bootsma would have 5 of the 6 best backstrokers to ever race in a 25 yard pool.
To make this record happen, Pelton split, by 100, almost the same as her old record; the difference in strategy came as she seemed to pull off ever-so-slightly on her third 50 and then tore her way home on the last 50.
Pelton ’11 – 26.13, 27.45, 27.69, 27.88 – 1:49.16
Pelton ’12 – 26.08, 27.44, 27.98, 27.40 – 1:48.90