OMAHA, Neb. – Budding star Missy Franklin and two-time Olympic champion Natalie Coughlin have advanced in the 100-meter backstroke preliminaries at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials.
Franklin was the top qualifier Tuesday morning in 59.54 seconds, easily moving the 17-year-old from Colorado into the evening semifinals. She led a quartet of teenagers who represent the U.S. future in the event. Rachel Bootsma, an 18-year-old from Minnesota, was second at 59.69. Elizabeth Pelton, an 18-year-old from Connecticut, was third at 1 minute, 0.55 seconds.
Olivia Smoliga, a 17-year-old from suburban Chicago, was fourth-quickest at 1:00.66.
Coughlin advanced in fifth at 1:00.71. The top 16 from the evening semifinal move on to Wednesday's final, where only the top two earn berths for the London Games.