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Missy Franklin wins 100m free; off to a good start at Nationals

Jun 26, 2013, 8:15 AM EST

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Last year’s Olympics swimming sensation Missy Franklin showed no signs of slowing down Tuesday at the nationals in Indy, bursting past three gold medalists and two NCAA national champions in the last 25 meters to clock a meet record 53.43 and capture the 100m free title.

“It’s my favorite part of the race,” Franklin said about the finish. “I just love doing everything possible so I can get my hand on the wall.”

Franklin held off London 4x200m free relay teammate Shannon Vreeland, who finished second in 53.83, and 16-year-old Simone Manuel, who broke her own national age grope record by clocking 53.86, finished a close third. Twelve-time Olympic medalist Natalie Coughlin was fifth.

“[Missy] really is who I model myself after,” Manuel said after making the U.S. world team. “We’ve kind of grown a friendship, she tells me good luck before all of my races. I feel like I learned a lot tonight.”

Missy won five medals in London last summer, including four golds and a bronze. But she actually didn’t even compete in the 100m free at the Olympics. Go figure. She’s set to race in five more events at nationals, including the 200m free, where she’s seeded second behind London champ Allison Schmitt, the 50m, 100m, and 200m backs, all of which she’s favored in, and the 200IM.