AURORA | The two high school dual meets Regis Jesuit swimming star Missy Franklin will compete in will be a week apart, starting with Tuesday against Highlands Ranch.
The 17-year-old Franklin, who won four gold medals and a bronze at the Summer Olympics in London, is planning to be in the water with her Regis Jesuit teammates when they play host to the Falcons in a Continental League dual meet on 4 p.m. at the school’s bubble.
Franklin is also scheduled to compete in the non-league home dual meet against Cherry Creek at 4 p.m. Jan. 15, as she did last season. She will then be off from Colorado competition until the Class 5A girls state swim meet, which is scheduled for Feb. 8-9 at the Edora Pool & Ice Center in Fort Collins.
The school is limiting media access to the dual meets to “ensure as normal a climate for each of the meets as possible” and expect a lot of spectators.
Last November — shortly after she signed her national athletic letter of intent with defending NCAA champion University of California-Berkeley — Franklin decided to swim with her Regis Jesuit team on at least a few occasions during her senior season.
There had been some outside questions as to whether an Olympian should compete in high school meets, but two other Team USA swimmers are doing it — Lia Neal at Convent of the Sacred Heart in Manhattan and Katie Ledecky at Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart in Bethesda, Md. — and Franklin couldn’t pass up the chance to swim for the last few times with the Regis Jesuit teammates she’s very close with.
In three seasons of swimming with Regis Jesuit, Franklin has won six individual Class 5A state championships — three in the 100-yard backstroke, two in the 50 freestyle and one in the 200 freestyle — and owns 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.
Besides maintaining her training regimen with coach Todd Schmitz and her Colorado Stars club team, Franklin has been busy out of the water.
She took several trips to Arizona in the past week as she served as the Grand Marshall for the Fiesta Bowl Parade. Franklin also conducted the pre-game coin flip before Oregon and Kansas State squared off in the Fiesta Bowl game on Jan. 3 in Glendale, Ariz.
After her Colorado dual meet appearances, Franklin is scheduled to swim in the Austin Grand Prix Jan. 18-20, the second of a six-meet circuit put together by USA Swimming.
Reach Sports Editor Courtney Oakes at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-750-7555