The eyes of the country have been focused on Missy Franklin for awhile.
Those in the Regis Jesuit High School community who can’t make it to Omaha, Neb., will have to keep their eyes glued to a television screen to watch the soon-to-be 17-year-old phenom during the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials.
The school has scheduled five official watch parties during the Trials — which run June 25-July 2 at the CenturyLink Center — with all set for the Crimson & Gold Lounge, 2017 S. University Blvd. The lounge is owned by 2002 Regis Jesuit graduate Andrew Caldwell and will serve as the headquarters of those in the community looking to track Franklin as she attempts to qualify for the London Olympics.
“We’ve never had an athlete of this caliber and on a world stage before,” Regis Jesuit Director of Communications Charisse Broderick King. “We know its summer and our families are scattered to the four winds, but we’ve had a positive response and hopefully there will be a strong show of support for Missy.”
The Olympic quest for Franklin — who has won numerous gold medals at international meets and has a world record to her credit — began when she started at the school and the buzz has been building in recent weeks.
The school had a sendoff for Franklin along with a farewell to its seniors on May 18, when Denver Broncos wide receiver Eric Decker and others stepped by the Regis Jesuit gym to wish her luck.
The watch parties — which are open to the entire community — will be a way to keep tabs on Franklin as she attempts to make the U.S. Olympic Team in the 100 and 200 meter backstrokes and the 50, 100 and 200 meter freestyles.
The finals of each event are scheduled to be aired by NBC in prime time, so all five watch parties — on June 27 (100m backstroke), June 28 (200m freestyle), June 30 (100m freestyle), July 1 (200m backstroke) and July 2 (50m freestyle) — are scheduled for 7 p.m.
“I think it will be great for our community to pull together and it’s one of those opportunities that don’t come around every day,” Broderick King said. “There’s a lot of excitement around here.”
If Franklin succeeds in her quest, more watch parties could be on the horizon when she competes in the Summer Olympics, July 27-Aug. 12, in London.
Reach Sports Editor Courtney Oakes at [email protected] or 303-750-7555
REGIS JESUIT’S MISSY FRANKLIN WATCH PARTIES
Wednesday, June 27: 100 meter backstroke final, 7-8 p.m.
Thursday, June 28: 200 meter freestyle final, 7-8 p.m.
Saturday, June 30: 100 meter freestyle final, 7-8 p.m.
Sunday, July 1: 200 meter backstroke final, 7-8 p.m.
Monday, July 2: 50 meter freestyle final, 7-7:30 p.m.