FORT COLLINS, Colorado, February 8. MULTIPLE Olympic gold medalist Missy Franklin is pulling the curtain on her high school career with Regis Jesuit this weekend at the Colorado State High School Championships. Tonight, she took part in prelims before a standing-room only audience.
Franklin opened the evening with a 1:58.22 to lead the way during 200-yard IM preliminary competition. That swim downed the state record of 1:59.09 set by current Arizona swimmer Bonnie Brandon, but is three seconds off Franklin's best yard time of 1:55.32 set back at the 2010 short course nationals. During finals tomorrow, not only will she be looking for a lifetime best, she also has Dagny Knutson's overall national high school record of 1:53.82 in her sights.
Franklin is a shoo-in to take down 2012 Olympic teammate Kathleen Hersey's independent school record of 1:57.41 set back in 2008 while swimming for Marist High in Georgia. Franklin and Hersey are more widely known in tandem for their amazing efforts as some of the stars of the USA Swimming Olympic training camp “Call Me Maybe” video.
Franklin then turned in a 4:45.51 in the 500-yard free preliminary heats, falling a few seconds back of her personal best of 4:42.00 from the 20120 Speedo Championship Series Western Regionals. Franklin has a long way to go to catch up to fellow Olympian Katie Ledecky, who threw down a national high school record at the 2013 Metro Championships tonight with a blazing preliminary swim of 4:33.14.
Franklin also managed to drop a 22.73 as Regis Jesuit's 200-yard free relay leadoff, just a bit off her personal record of 22.15 posted during the Arena Grand Prix stop in Minneapolis last November. Also, as part of the 400-yard free relay, Franklin clocked a 49.05 leadoff. That swim just missed her national independent school record of 48.39 from 2010, and is off Knutson's overall record of 48.15 from 2009.
Franklin is best known for her sterling performance at the 2012 London Olympics, where she won four golds and a bronze in her maiden Olympic outing. The best high school recruit ever, Franklin has since decided to attend California after this year for a two-year stint before planning to turn pro heading into the 2016 Olympics.
There has been some controversy surrounding Franklin's participation at the Colorado championships, as some parents and family members have complained about trying to get tickets to see their kids, as the facility only seats 1,000 spectators.