SANTA CLARA -- Swimming's biggest names bid adieu to the Arena Grand Prix Santa Clara meet with more positive results on a cool Sunday evening.
Cal sophomore Missy Franklin won one of her signature events -- the 100-meter backstroke -- with a time of 1 minute, 0.99 seconds.
Michael Phelps was third in his first 200 individual medley since winning the event at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
Phelps, 28, simply ran out of steam at the end after leading for three of the four strokes. But that's OK. Santa Clara was his most rigorous meet since coming out of retirement last year.
"He's light years ahead of where we started," Phelps' coach Bob Bowman said. "It's only going to get better."
Olympian Scott Weltz of San Jose can only hope that he has a similar prognosis. The man who finished fifth in the 200 breaststroke at the London Games dropped out of the medley race Sunday.
For the past year, he has been struggling with hypothyroidism that leaves him listless.
Yet, Weltz, 27, refuses to stop.
He is scheduled to meet his UC Davis coach Pete Motekaitis on Monday to decide what to do for the rest of the summer.
Weltz might shut it down to try to get healthy in time for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. U.S. coaches are telling him as much.
It would mean Weltz, a Bellarmine Prep alum, would forgo the U.S. championships Aug. 6-10 in Irvine and a chance to qualify for the 2015 World Championships.
He wants to swim through his health problems.
"I'm being stubborn," Weltz said at the George F. Haines International Swim Center where he was watching Sunday instead of racing.
"It got me where I am, but being stubborn might now be holding me back."
Weltz was one of the biggest surprises at the 2012 U.S. Olympic trials by qualifying for the London Games. He has stayed loyal to his college coach in Davis instead of joining one of the big training clubs.
Weltz has trained like a monster, but his body keeps betraying him.
"It's stop and go," he said. "I want to be up there again."
But Weltz isn't focused on qualifying for another international team. He just wants to leave the sport on his terms.
If that sounds familiar, check out Phelps' summer. Santa Clara was his third meet since returning to train at the North Baltimore Aquatic Club with Bowman.
Phelps says he just wants to have fun this time around and that nothing can change his legacy.
But don't discount the competitor inside that long-limbed frame. Phelps competed in four events over the weekend, finally seeing progress from his recent training.
But the 22-time Olympic medalist has not had enough time to build the kind of foundation needed to finish a race like Sunday's.
He and his Baltimore teammates arrived in the Bay Area after rigorous high-altitude training in Colorado Springs, Colorado. So, he had reason to be exhausted in the final 50 meters of his last race of the meet.
It allowed training partner Conor Dwyer to chase down Phelps in the freestyle leg to win in 1:59.49.
"I knew it was win or go home with nothing," Dwyer said of winning the grand prix's men's title and $10,000 purse.
Dwyer closed on Phelps in the third leg -- the breaststroke -- launching him to the finish line. Chase Kasliz, another North Baltimore swimmer, also passed Phelps to finish second in 1:59.53. Phelps touched the wall in 1:59.76.
Franklin wanted to break the 1-minute barrier but wasn't disappointed with how the meet went considering Cal swimmers recently did serious training in Santa Cruz.
"I'm more mentally exhausted," Franklin said.
Phelps could relate to that sentiment.