PHOENIX, Arizona, November 28. MISSY Franklin is one of the swimmers competing in this week's USA Swimming nationals, and the Olympic champion is coming off a tough decision to compete for Regis Jesuit High School in her final high school season. Franklin wasn't sure if she wanted to compete in high school because of the overwhelming media and fan attention her participation created, but in the end, her desire to swim with her classmates won the day. Franklin will not swim in every dual meet for Regis, but will be a part of their state championship team.
Franklin will swim six events at nationals in Austin, Texas, starting tomorrow. Could we see a couple of short course yards American records from her? She came within a second of the 200 back and 200 free records at the Minneapolis Grand Prix a couple of weeks ago. Several of her Olympian teammates will be there, including Ryan Lochte and Jessica Hardy, both of whom will be using the meet as prep for the upcoming short course world championships.
Several college teams will be in full shave and taper mode, trying to make qualifying times for the NCAA championships. Tom Shields, the reigning national champ in the 100 fly and 100 back, will be there representing Cal, and the entire men's and women's teams from Arizona and Southern Cal will likely put up some blazing fast times at this midseason taper meet.
I will be there on deck in Austin bringing you post-race interviews with the top swimmers, and we'll also bring you Race Day analysis shortly after each finals session. In addition, we'll be bringing you up-to-the-second race coverage on swimmingworld.com, so be sure to come back often for the latest from Austin.
In other news, Colombian Olympian Omar Pinzon tested positive for cocaine at his country's national championships recently, which could mean a severe ban and likely force him to drop out of next month's world championships. Most recently, Pinzon competed at the 2012 Olympics, where he was 16th in the 200 backstroke.
Grand Canyon University, which has been steadily climbing the ranks as a Division II school, will become a Division I school next season. The swim team, based here in Phoenix, will not have the opportunity to swim at the Division I NCAA championships until 2017 after an NCAA-mandated transition period. GCU could end their six years in Division II with a team national title next March.