PHOENIX, Arizona, February 6. MISSY Franklin is deviating from her usual slate of events this weekend at the Colorado 5A swimming and diving high school championships, racing the 200 IM and 500 freestyle for Regis Jesuit in her final high school meet.
The release of the psych sheets for the meet shows seed times of 2:02.10 in the 200 IM and 4:57.71 in the 500 free for Franklin. The USA Swimming database shows Franklin's lifetime best of 4:42.00 in the 500 free from 2010, and 1:55.32 in the 200 IM from 2010.
Franklin did not completely shave and taper for the 2012 championships, in preparation for the Olympic Trials and Olympic Games, and her camp indicated previously that a full rest is not likely this weekend as well. Last year, Franklin set independent national high school records in the 100 free (48.39), 200 free (1:43.15) and 100 back (52.30).
This year, the Colorado altitude could play a factor in Franklin's chase of the national high school records this year. The EPIC pool in Fort Collins sits at close to 5,500 feet, and races longer than 100 yards are most affected by the lack of oxygen. If Franklin were to approach her lifetime best time in the 200 IM, she would break Kathleen Hersey's independent national record of 1:57.41, and possibly give Dagny Knuston's overall record of 1:53.82 a scare. As for the 500 free, she will have some work to do to catch Kate Ziegler's national record of 4:33.35.
Though relay rosters are not official yet, Franklin is likely to make the 100 freestyle her final high school race as a leadoff swimmer for Regis on the 400 free relay. If that is the case, she would have the opportunity to lower her independent high school record and challenge Knutson's overall record of 48.15.
It's not known why Franklin chose to swim a different program in her final high school competition, but when looking ahead to her collegiate career at UC-Berkeley it would appear that Franklin is testing out what her third event could be at the NCAA championships. Provided she races the 200 free on the second day at NCAAs and the 200 back the third day, she would need a third event, likely on day one. The 200 IM and 500 free are both swum on day one at the championships.
Fossil Ridge senior Rhianna Williams is another swimmer to watch at the 5A championships. She is the reigning champion in the 50 and 100 freestyles.