Missy Franklin didn't win the 200-meter freestyle Thursday at the Arena Pro Swim Series. The five-time Olympic medalist finished second to world champion Katie Ledecky, who won in 1 minute, 55.37 seconds to set a pool record at the Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center.
Franklin got what she wanted out of the race, though — and so did several other stars as they began three days of competition. The meet is the first of seven that top swimmers will use to prepare for this summer's Olympic trials and the Rio Games in August. This weekend is all about getting back into racing form, an objective that Franklin met with a time of 1:56.73.
Other victors on Thursday's opening night included Sam Tierney, who set a pool record of 1:00.82 in winning the 100 breaststroke; Kelsi Worrell, who won the 100 butterfly in a pool-record time of 57.91, and Becca Mann, who broke a pool mark in the 400 individual medley with a winning time of 4:37.04.
"I'm happy with my time,'' Franklin said. "I'm moving in the right direction. When you race someone like Katie Ledecky, it's really important to use her to make yourself better, but also swim your own race. I think I did that pretty well."
Minnesota-connected swimmers competing Thursday included Rachel Bootsma of Eden Prairie (18th, 100 butterfly) and the Gophers' Danielle Nack (11th, 100 fly), Rachel Munson (fifth, 100 breaststroke), Conner McHugh (16th, 100 breast), Daryl Turner (15th, 100 fly), Brooke Zeiger (fourth, 400 IM), Jakub Maly (sixth, 400 IM) and John Bushman (14th, 400 IM).
• The No. 4-ranked Gophers volleyball team signed four players: 6-1 outside hitter Brittany McLean of Rosemount, 6-foot outside hitter Alexis Hart of Independence, Mo.; 5-8 defensive specialist Lauren Litzau of Greendale, Wis., and 6-5 middle blocker Regan Pittman of Spring Hill, Kan.
• The men's golf team signed Mason Fiddle of White Bear Lake, Thomas Longbella of Chippewa Falls, Wis., and Gus Minkin of York, Pa.
• Augsburg senior forward Marie Fitzgerald and St. Thomas junior keeper Tarynn Theilig were named the Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year in MIAC women's soccer. Gustavus keeper Ashley Becker was named Rookie of the Year and Laura Burnett-Kurie of the Gusties was voted Coach of the Year by her peers.
• Carleton senior midfielder Branden McGarrity was named the MIAC Player of the Year in men's soccer and Macalester's Gregg Olson the Coach of the Year in recognition of the Scots' conference title.