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Towson native Pelton pushes Franklin in 100-meter backstroke

4:12 AM EDT, June 29, 2013

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Eighteen-year-old Missy Franklin is the American record holder in the 100-meter backstroke, but Towson native Elizabeth Pelton tested the Olympic gold-medal winner Friday at the Phillips 66 National Championships and World Championships Trials in Indianapolis.

Pelton posted a time of 59.27 seconds in the preliminaries, which was .12 of a second faster than Franklin in second place. In the finals, though, Franklin responded.

She raced to a U.S. open-record time of 58.67, while Pelton again finished in 59.27 seconds, good for second place. Pelton still qualifies for next month's FINA World Aquatic Championships in the event despite failing to outduel Franklin.

Earlier this week, Pelton also qualified in the 200 backstroke.

Several other local swimmers competed Friday.

Katie Ledecky of Bethesda won the women's 400 freestyle with a time of 4:04.05. North Baltimore Aquatic Center swimmers Gillian Ryan and Cierra Runge also competed in the event. Ryan finished fourth with a time of 4:10.19, and Runge came in 15th in 4:14:40.

Conor Dwyer, another NBAC swimmer, finished in 3:51.29 in the men's 400 freestyle but was disqualified in the finals for a false start.

NBAC swimmer Annie Zhu finished the final of the 100 breaststroke in 1:09.84, placing 17th in the event.

Jack Conger, of Olney's Good Counsel High School, was eighth in the 100backstroke in 54.33.