AURORA | Missy Franklin’s love for her team couldn’t be denied.
The 17-year-old Olympic star decided to finish her career with her teammates at Regis Jesuit, as she decided Tuesday to swim an abbreviated schedule with the Raiders according to Regis Jesuit Girls Division athletic director John Koslosky.
Franklin — who won four gold medals and a bronze at the London Olympics over the summer — signed her national letter of intent to swim at the University of California-Berkeley on Nov. 14 and then took her time deciding whether to swim for the Raiders.
Ultimately, Franklin decided she couldn’t pass up the last few chances to be in the water, at least as her loaded schedule will allow, with her team. She let Regis Jesuit coach Nick Frasersmith know of her choice a day before the Raiders open the’ season with a home dual meet against Chaparral. Franklin plans to compete in a small number of yet-to-be determined dual meets, as well as the Class 5A state meet Feb. 8-9 at the Edora Pool & Ice Center in Fort Collins.
Regis Jesuit’s home dual meet with powerhouse Cherry Creek, scheduled for Jan. 15, is likely to be on Franklin’s list. Koslosky said any meet Franklin swims in would be closed to only select media to avoid the circus-like atmosphere that accompanied some meets last season.
At the 5A state meet, Franklin will try to add to her six individual state championships — three in the 100-yard backstroke, two in the 50 freestyle and one in the 200 freestyle — and three state records. Her presence could help the Raiders challenge for a second state title in three seasons, as they finished third last season after taking the 2010-11 crown.
Last year, Franklin’s presence led to a sold out state meet that was nationally televised by ESPN.
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