Missy Franklin rested her head against the side of the pool, beaming ear-to-ear.
There were smiles, too, for Matthew Grevers and France's Yannick Agnel.
Not so for Ryan Lochte, who finished out of a medal for the first time in his Olympic swimming career.
Franklin, the 17-year-old rising star, won her first Olympic gold medal Monday night in the 100-meter backstroke, doing so after swimming in a semifinal for another race.
She has two medals in her first Olympics after getting a bronze as part of the women's 400 freestyle relay on Saturday.
"It is exceeding the expectations one hundred billion times over," said Franklin, who trains in Aurora, Colo., location of the fatal "Dark Knight Rises" theater shooting less than two weeks ago.
Franklin set an American record with a time of 58.33 seconds, touching .35 seconds ahead of Emily Seebohm of Australia with Japan's Aya Terakawa third. Less than 15 minutes earlier, Franklin barely qualified for the 200 free, squeaking in with the eighth and final spot by .13 seconds.
"Missy showed she is incredibly tough out there," said Michael Phelps. "You usually need around a half an hour to recover, so to have that fast a turnaround was incredible."
Grevers improved on the silver he won behind Aaron Peirsol in Beijing four years ago, smashing his retired teammate's Olympic record in the men's 100 back.
His time of 52.16 seconds shaved .38 seconds off the record, giving him the gold in front of U.S. teammate Nick Thoman and Ryosuke Irie of Japan.
"It feels incredible," said Grevers. "I came so close back in 2008 and when Aaron retired I knew I stood a chance."
In the last of four straight medal races at the Aquatics Centre, 15-year-old Ruta Meilutyte earned Lithuania's first Olympic swimming medal by winning the women's 100 breaststroke in 1 minute, 5.47 seconds -- just .08 ahead of the American Rebecca Soni, with Japan's Satomi Suzuki in third.
Of four medals won by Americans in four finals at the Aquatics Centre, none came from Lochte.
Agnel, the hero for France a night before, got his second gold in two days after leading the men's 200 free wire-to-wire.
China's Sun Yang and South Korea's Park Tae-hwan tied for the silver, with Lochte coming in fourth -- the first time in nine career Olympic races that he failed to medal.
Agnel, of course, is the swimmer who closed the gap on Lochte after the final turn Sunday night to rally the French to a gold over the U.S. in the men's 400-meter free relay.
Lochte was running second behind the Frenchman after 150 meters but said he might have started too fast.
"I knew if I wanted to be in the race I had to go out a little," said Lochte. "Next time I won't make that same mistake. This is one of the deepest fields I've ever seen. First to eighth (place) is like a second difference."
Agnel finished in 1 minute, 43.14 seconds -- 1.79 seconds ahead of Sun, the 400 free champion, and 2008 silver medalist Park. World record holder Paul Biedermann of Germany was fifth.
The 200 was the race Phelps dropped from his London schedule after U.S. trials and one of the eight he won in Beijing four years ago.
Phelps was in the pool Monday night for semifinals of the 200 butterfly. The two-time reigning Olympic champion qualified fourth-fastest, one spot ahead of Tyler Clary, the teammate who questioned his training habits in a newspaper article.
Grevers parlayed an overflow of confidence into a record-breaking race and Thoman gave the U.S. a 1-2 finish, touching .76 seconds after his teammate and .05 ahead of Irie.
"I don't think it's hit me yet," said Grevers.