And just like that, American 23-year old swimmer Missy Franklin has inserted herself back into the conversation for USA Swimming international travel teams.
Swimming in the B-Final of the 200 free on Saturday at the Canet stop of the 2018 Mare Nostrum series, Franklin swam a 1:58.91, improving upon her 2:00.51 from prelims. In her very first meet back in the water since the 2016 Olympic Games, and after double shoulder surgery in 2017, that makes Franklin the 7th-fastest American in the event so far this season (including results from Santa Clara on Friday).
Top 10 Americans, 200 Free, 2017-2018 Season (Through Saturday afternoon)
- Katie Ledecky – 1:54.56
- Melanie Margalis – 1:57.94
- Simone Manuel – 1:58.06
- Leah Smith – 1:58.20
- Mallory Comerford – 1:58.71
- Katie Drabot – 1:58.86
- Missy Franklin – 1:58.91
- Gabby Deloof – 1:59.05
- Katie McLaughlin – 1:59.08
- Claire Tuggle – 1:59.11
That position is significant, because besides the fact that it puts her in the top 8 that would make a hypothetical final, she’s just .05 seconds from a top 6 slot, with 6 typically qualify for Pan Pacs in the 100 and 200 free for relay purposes. The USA Swimming selection procedures for the Pan Pac Championships are unique, in that it allows swimmers, once qualified for the team, to swim extra events for which they didn’t directly qualify (which in turn they can use to qualify for Worlds in 2019). So, if Franklin can make the team in this 200 free, on a relay, it buys her another month and another meet to qualify for Worlds in 2019.
Franklin also dropped time in her 2nd swim of the evening session, the 200 back, where she placed 6th in 2:13.14 (after a 2:13.61 in prelims). The time would have placed her 8th at the Santa Clara PSS meet happening this weekend, and ranks her as the 17th-best American this season.
Franklin continues her meet on Sunday with swims in the 100 back and 100 free. She then is expected to continue on to the 2 remaining Mare Nostrum stops in Barcelona and Monaco.