Andrew Scheiner/Daily Journal
Eighteen-time Olympic champion Michael Phelps took second place in the 200-meter freestyle with a time of 1 minute, 48.20 seconds Sunday at the Santa Clara Grand Prix. Competing in his third meet since coming out of retirement, Phelps said: “It is very good progress.”
SANTA CLARA — 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. Angel won in 1:46.99, and Phelps had a 1:48.20.
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.
Hitting her hand on the lane line hurt her pride more than her hand in the 200 back.
“I hit the lane line 20 meters out. That was fun,” Franklin said. “That hasn’t happened for a while. I was kind of bummed out, though it does help keep me in check. I’m not going to do that at nationals.”
Phelps said completing the 200 free showed he was going in the right direction.
“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.”
Phelps woke up sore but after getting treatment felt he was more recovered for the afternoon swim. On Sunday, he’ll attempt the 200 IM for the first time since winning the gold medal in the event at the 2012 London Olympics.
Beisel swam the fourth-fastest time in the world in winning the 400 IM.
“I’m excited about that. That’s my best in-season time by six seconds,” she said. “Training has been going well lately. Things are coming together for me.”
Also, Cheyenne Coffman won the women’s 50 free, Bruno Fratus took the men’s 50 free, Chase Kalisz won the men’s 400 IM, and Arkady Vyatchanin took the 200 back. Vyatchanin is undefeated in the 100 back and 200 back at Grand Prix events since January.