INDIANAPOLIS — Missy Franklin closed out the U.S. national championships with a flourish.
She won the 100-meter backstroke in record time, hugged her friend and future college teammate before immediately turning her attention to next month's world championships.
If she swims as well in Barcelona as she did in Indianapolis, America's teenage swimming sensation could rule the world. She was the only swimmer to break 30 seconds over the final 50 meters in the 100 back Friday, finishing in 58.67 to win her fourth national title of the week and set a U.S. Open and long-course nationals record. Elizabeth Pelton was second in 59.27.
"Actually, I am surprised. I'm really, really happy with my times here," Franklin said as she stood next to Pelton. "I wasn't sure what to expect."
Franklin isn't the only teen making a splash at the nationals.
Katie Ledecky, the 16-year-old Olympic champion in the 800 free, is expanding her repertoire, too. After winning the 800 free on Tuesday and finishing second in the 200 free Wednesday, Ledecky returned to the pool Friday and delivered a personal best of 4 minutes, 4.05 seconds in winning the 400 free. Chloe Sutton, a 2012 Olympian, was second in 4:06.64 with Olympic 10K silver medalist Haley Anderson third in 4:09.60.
And with the 1,500 free still to go today, Ledecky suddenly finds herself on the cusp of qualifying for one of the toughest feats in swimming — competing in the four longest freestyle events. She said she'll be ready.
"I'll just get back in training, I guess hard training and then I'll taper again," Ledecky said.