Barrett: Why Missy Franklin Went to College


PHOENIX, Arizona, March 23. ONE of the best commentaries on Missy Franklin’s decision to go to college was published this weekend shortly after the NCAA Division I Women’s Championships came to an end in Minneapolis, Minn.

Casey Barrett, a true friend of Swimming World who is the founder of both the swim-based blog as well as the New York-based swim school Imagine Swim, put his amazing thoughts into words this weekend at his blog.

It is truly one of the strongest columns reviewing Franklin’s decision to turn down a boatload of money as a professional swimmer, and at least for an announced two years be a collegiate swimmer at California.

Here’s an excerpt from the blog:

She couldn’t have realized it at the time. She was rather immersed in the task at hand. Two and a half seconds back, her team a distant third, only her anchor leg to go… It was Friday night, day two of the Women’s NCAA Championships, and Missy Franklin had a hell of a lot of ground to make up in the 800 freestyle relay. The race was down to the three best teams at the meet – Georgia, Stanford, and Cal. Already in the water for Stanford was freshman Lia Neal, Missy’s fellow high school Olympic teammate back in London. In the water for the Bulldogs, sophomore stud Brittany MacLean, the girl who beat Missy head to head a night earlier in the 500 free.

What happened next was what you’d expect from the current face of American swimming. She dove in and started reeling them in. 50 yards, just a second and a half back; 100 yards, less than a second; 150 yards five one-hundredths back; and then Georgia’s MacLean dug in. She wasn’t letting Franklin by that easy. Stroke for stroke over the final lap, until Missy managed to inch by, touching the wall first for her Cal Bears by .15. Her split: an astonishing 1:40.08.

Another golden feather in the cap for the golden girl… Did you expect anything less?

Make sure to go to Barrett’s blog to read the rest of an amazing thought-piece on USA Swimming’s All-American Girl.