SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA – Missy Franklin won the 200-meter freestyle and finished third in the 200 backstroke, and Michael Phelps was second in the 200 freestyle Saturday night in the Santa Clara Grand Prix.
Franklin took the 200 free in 1 minute, 56.96 seconds, faster than the Olympic star thought possible. Elizabeth Beisel won the 400 individual medley and the 200 back. Beisel finished in 2:09.11, and Franklin had a 2:09.86 after hitting her hand on the lane line.
“In the morning I hurt a little bit and didn’t know what to expect in the afternoon,” Franklin said. “It felt good and I was pretty surprised.”
Phelps, the 18-time Olympic champion racing in his third meet since coming out of retirement, finished behind North Baltimore teammate Yannick Agnel in the 200 free. Agnel won in 1:46.99, and Phelps had a 1:48.20.
“It is very good progress,” Phelps said. “The first 50 I felt really good and going into 100 it was still together. At 150 I went to kick out and everything sort of went haywire. I’m happy with the race. I really wanted to go out and race and see where I am.”
Phelps said the final 10 meters felt “like I had 10 grand pianos on my back.”
Agnel encouraged Phelps to go with him in the first 50 to see what happens.
“I know he’s not in the best shape yet,” Agnel said. “I also know he can race me to the end. He’s the best of all time. I was focused on Michael. I wanted to see if I could race him.”
Franklin led the 200 free from the start, beating Cierra Runge by over a second. Simone Manuel, who beat Franklin in the 100 free Friday, was third in 1:59.01.