GREENSBORO, N.C. -- California dominated on the second night of the NCAA Championships on Friday, winning four national titles, including an American-record swim by Missy Franklin in the 200-yard freestyle when she became the first person in history to go under 1:40, finishing in 1:39.10. In addition, the Golden Bears captured the 200 medley relay and 800 free relay, and Rachel Bootsma won the 100 backstroke.
As a result, Cal built an 84-point lead in the hunt for the team title. Through two of three days of competition, the Bears have 383.5 points, with Georgia second with 299.5 and Stanford third with 264.Franklin, who captured the 200 free as a freshman last year when she first set the American record (1:40.31), burst off the blocks from the start and continued to increase her lead throughout the race. By the finish, she had shaved more than a second off her old mark and was over two seconds ahead of runner-up Simone Manuel of Stanford, who touched in 1:41.45.
“Honestly, I didn’t really know what to expect,” Franklin said. “It was one of those races where I didn’t really have anything planned out. I just decided to trust myself and trust my body and whatever happened. I felt before the race that I could do something like that. A 1:39 has been in my head since NCAAs last year, so to finally to be able to go under that by almost a second totally surprised myself.”
The Bears put up a total of 57 points in the event with Cierra Runge taking fourth (1:43.23), Caroline Piehl eighth (1:44.30), Camille Cheng ninth (1:42.82, B final winner) and Rachael Acker 15th (1:45.21).
As they did Thursday night, the Bears opened the evening session with a win in a relay. And just like Thursday, they came from behind to do so. Following legs by Bootsma, Marina Garcia and Noemie Thomas, Cal found itself down by 0.17 seconds to Louisville. But Farida Osman turned on the jets with a 21.09 freestyle split -- the fastest of her career -- and she touched for a time of 1:35.15, a full six-tenths of a second in front of the runner-up Cardinals.
Bootsma had three impressive swims on the evening. In addition to giving Cal the lead on the backstroke leg of the medley relay, she captured the B final of the 100 butterfly in 51.53. In the 100 back, she powered to a convincing win in 50.03, which was both a personal best and made her the No. 3 performer in history in the event.
“I am just so happy to back swimming the way I want to be and the way I have been training,” Bootsma said. “It’s honestly an incredible feeling right now.”
The Bears received additional support in the back from Melanie Klaren, who took third in a career-best 51.31, and Elizabeth Pelton, who tied for fifth in 51.67.
Cal also had two other scorers in the 100 fly besides Bootsma, with Osman setting a PR of 50.94 on her way to a fourth-place showing and Jasmine Mau taking 13th in 52.17.
Kelly Naze was the sole Bear swimming in the 400 individual medley, and she was seeded 16th in the consolation heat. However, she came through to claim second place (and 10th overall) with a career-best 4:07.07, which moved her up to third all-time at Cal in the event.
In the final event of the night, the foursome of Runge, Cheng, Pelton and Franklin came through in a meet-record 6:50.99 in the 800 free relay, which was less than a second off the American record Cal set at the Pac-12 Championships last month.
“You have to have a lot of great swims in the morning, and we got the job done in the morning,” head coach Teri McKeever said. “Our job was to keep moving up and improve our times. We kind of caught fire after the first relay. I think Kelly Naze’s first individual event -- going from 16th to 10th -- was huge boost. You get on a roll and it doesn’t get much better than tonight.”
The NCAA championships conclude on Saturday with the final seven events.