MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Missy Franklin won two more races, Ricky Berens took the 200-yard butterfly and Ryan Lochte won the 100 backstroke Saturday night in USA Swimming’s Minneapolis Grand Prix.

The 15-year-old Franklin won the 50 freestyle in 22.28 seconds and the 100 backstroke in 52.47 seconds. On Friday night, she won the 200 freestyle and the 400 individual medley.

“I didn’t expect to have these kind of times at all,” said Franklin, who didn’t taper her training prior to the weekend. “I’m just really excited about where I’m at personally and about where we are at as a team. We’re really feeding off of each other.”

Franklin is surprised by her success at her age.

“I just love it. Sometimes I have to pinch myself,” said Franklin, who lives in Aurora, Colo. “I shouldn’t be having this much fun, but I’m just soaking it all up and couldn’t be happier.”
Berens, also a two-time winner Friday night, edged Todd Patrick in the 200 butterfly, finishing in 1:45.13.

“I definitely feel good right now. It’s right where I want to be,” Berens said. “Any time you can come here and beat some of the best swimmers in the world, it gives you the boost you need to keep on trucking all the way through the world championships.”

Lochte, a two-time Olympian, picked up his first Grand Prix victory, taking the 100 backstroke in 46.42.

“I messed up my first turn on the butterfly, but other than that I feel good,” Lochte said moments after putting his gold medal around the neck of a little girl at poolside. “Right now I’m in the best shape of my life. Normally I take some time off this part of the season, but I’ve been working and I feel really good where I’m at.”

Two-time Bulgarian Olympian Mike Alexandrov won the 200 breaststroke in 1:54.37, and Oussama Mellouli took the 500 freestyle in 4:11.15, the ninth fastest time ever in the United States.

The Minneapolis Grand Prix is the start of a seven-event series. The top swimmer will receive $20,000, to be awarded at the final event in June in Santa Clara, Calif.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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