Missy Franklin is Committing to the Cal Golden Bears

Teri McKeever wins another one. Swimming superstar Missy Franklin has made her college decision, and will become a Cal Golden Bear next fall.

This is the move that a vast majority of the swimming community expected to happen. All of the signs were there: she fell in love with McKeever during the Olympics, they are the two-time defending champ, former Cal Bear Natalie Coughlin, is her hero; though many people had many thoughts on where she would end up, this decision will surprise very few in the swimming community.

Franklin, who won 4 gold medals and a bronze this summer at the Olympics. hasn’t really focused on a yards swim in years, despite insisting on swimming high school throughout her career (unlike her future Cal teammates Liz Pelton and Rachel Bootsma, who both sat out to focus on Olympic dreams). We still have some good measures of times for her, keeping in mind that her most recent High School Championship was swum in a shallow pool. Still, Franklin probably isn’t as good in yards as she is in long course, but that doesn’t stop her from being the best recruit in this class.

In yards, she’s been 22.25/47.94/1:43.15: all three of which are the fastest in the class. That 100 free time, in fact, was done at Sectionals when she was only 14 and a freshman in high school.

In the backstrokes, She’s been 52.30 and 1:51.07 – again the best in the class, and again both done when she was very young. Her 100 free, 200 free, and 100 back are all National Independent High School Records (though the 100 free stands at only 48.39 – her best in high school competition).

Her 1:55.32 in the 200 IM and 4:08 in the 400 IM, both from off-taper meets as a sophomore, would also give her cause to contend for NCAA finals in her first year.

Still, Franklin is a bit of a mystery as to how much she will immediately contribute to Cal’s scoring. Obviously, the answer begins with “a lot,” but she’s by no-means guaranteed to come in as an NCAA Champion. That’s in part due to three of her teammates, Pelton, Bootsma, and two-time defending NCAA 100 back champ Cindy Tran, all of whom are masters of short course and who could go 1-2-3 in the 100 back at this year’s NCAA Championships.

Still, it will be a fun experiment to see how exactly McKeever uses these three swimmers, all of whom have a high probability of making the 2016 Olympic Team. Will she leave them all in the 100 backstroke, or will one of them swim the 100 fly instead? Will Missy focus on the freestyle races? And what about the medleys, where all three are more-than-capable of swimming either backstroke, butterfly, or freestyle?

Let the fun begin. Good luck beating Cal for an NCAA title, at least for the next two years. She has hinted publicly to local news that her plan is to swim collegiately for two seasons, and then turn pro in time to capitalize on the 2016 Olympic rush.

These four are just the tip of the iceberg for what McKeever has in her stable, with one of the class’ best sprint freestylers (Kristen Vredeveld). In the bigger recruiting scheme, now that the two mega-pieces are off of the table (Franklin and fellow Olympian Lia Neal), and as a matter-of-fact all of our top 10 for the women, coaches will begin scrambling to fill out there classes. It’s likely that several teams were holding a lot of scholarship money open for Missy, and will now try and use multiple second-tier recruits to fill those positions.

We’ll also find out about what McKeever and Cal can pull in to finish out their class: she only has a small handful of public recruits so far, and we still think she needs to find a breaststroker.

Franklin also visited Texas and Georgia, but passed on an upcoming visit to USC.


  1. John Sampson says:

    Boom goes the dynamite

  2. Brian M says:

    Boring. I was hoping she would pick Texas, USC, or Georgia. Now Cal is unbeatable for the next 3 years or so.

    • jman says:

      I agree. Very boring. Women’s swim recruiting has become so predictable.

    • newswim says:

      The only program besides CAL that has a world class post grad program for women is USC. So logically, given her two year commitment to NCAA swimming and desire to stay for another two years in world class post-grad program, it was one of those two programs. CAL seemed the logical place, given the rapport with McKeever and congratulations to Missy, Coach McKeever, the Pac 12 and USA Swimming since this should work out very well for all.

  3. Jonny Newsom says:

    A no brainer. Cal’s got the top program for both men’s and women’s and the education can’t be beat.

  4. Congrats says:

    According to Denver’s 9news, “At this point, Franklin says she plans to swim NCAA for two years and then turn professional. She intends to continue to train with her Cal team and finish her education. ”

    Still sounds great! Not sure how that will be in the long run with most of these girls (Bootsma, Pelton, etc.) graduate, but they should still be in good shape.

  5. Katrina Radke says:

    Congrats Missy!! WELCOME TO CAL!!! GO BEARS!!!

    • duckduckgoose says:

      Welcome, Missy! Congrats to Teri, Kristen, and Nick. Great for college swimming and the Pac-12. With Missy on board, maybe Teri finally can start attracting some decent recruits to Berkeley. Roll on you Bears!

      • Swimmer says:

        So celina li, Kristen vredeveld, Rachel Bootsma Elizabeth pelton and Caitlin leverens and a lot more weren’t “decent recruits” (yes that’s 2 other Olympians on the current team. Someone’s salty,

      • Pvk says:

        What are you talking about????? CAL attracts the best of the best everywhere. They just got missy Franklin for gods sake!!!

  6. Chris says:

    Kristen Vredeveld actually has the fastest 50 free (22.17) in the class, as a sophomore. Still, it’ll be exciting to see what Missy can do at a scy taper meet.

  7. liquidassets says:

    Roll On You Bears!! USC/Cal fan here; was hoping for USC only so I could watch all her home meets as I currently live in L.A. But honestly knew that Cal is the more logical fit for her. Huge fan of NCAA swimming, so a little sad she’s going pro in 2 years. However, I may well have done the same in her shoes, as it makes total sense. Plus she is so classy to announce that up front to her teammates, coaches, and potential recruits so that they know the deal going in.

    Congrats to Missy, Cal, and the Pac-12. Make Way For The Bears!!

  8. CalBearFan says:

    Keep it coming… Roll on….

  9. LS says:

    Nice…she has a very bright future ahead of her!

  10. h2ofan says:

    Hard to be surprised by Missy’s decision, which given her stated criteria for attending college is the best choice. Terry McKeever is a great coach and promotes a team first attitude. Why wouldn’t the best female high school swimmer in the US not want to be a part of what Mckeever and her staff have built at Cal. I also hope she has takes advantage of the opportunities to learn and grow personally beyond her swimming experience because Cal will offer many challenges.

    Best of luck at Cal, Missy.

  11. beachmouse says:

    I could see a lot of freestyle from her come NCAAs. Schmidt will have graduated, and if Missy gets her turns improved, she’ll be very tough to beat in the 200 free.

    Also maybe a bit of an experiment with butterfly. She’s decent in the stroke now, and I’m trying to think of who else Cal has once Tran graduates.

    • John Sampson says:

      I definately think shell focus on the 200 free/back/IM as her individuals (same as liz pelton) . missy has tremendous potential in short course, especially in the longer events. would anyone be surprised if she did the 500? she was 4:42 at 14.

      btw they have kelly naze, rachel bootsma and now celina li to do the butterflies.

      anyone have the day 2 results of the SMU invite? USC is on fire!!!

      • Brian M says:

        USC won by like 74 points or so. Kendyl Stewart and Jasmine Tosky put on a clinic.

        • Josh says:

          Which is what happens when you rest girls for an October invite like UNC and USC did.

          • PositiveEnergy says:

            Not true. Both USC & UNC “suited up” and I can’t speak for UNC but the USC girls did NOT rest…if anything they have been in intense training mode. There’s other talented swimmers out there at many universities other than Cal and they can also swim fast!

          • John Sampson says:

            Pretty sure theyve only been in the water for like a month or more, so itd be rediculous to rest. i wish jasmine wouldve done the 200 IM and kendyl done the 100 fly, it wouldve been great to see where their best events are at. very excited to see where the USC relays end up, very loaded with young talent! stewart is a darkhorse and a huge force to be reckoned with!

          • Brian M says:

            I find it hard to believe that you think Salo would rest swimmers less than one month after getting in the water. You are letting disdain cloud your judgment. Why can’t people just say “good job” when USC, or any of Salo’s swimmers do well? If Gregg’s swimmers would have swum lights out at SMU, people would be wetting themselves.

          • Positive Energy says:

            SMU Classic Swimmers of Meet: USC frosh Jasmine Tosky and runner up USC Junior Kasey Carlson. No “rest” for these warriors in October – only hard training and fast swimming for this team. Fight on!

  12. PW says:

    Congrats Missy and Cal! And it’s FrankLin…. As you know.

  13. Penelope says:

    not so sure the other swimmers will appreciate being called “second tier” swimmers…. a little rude dont you think? I mean really no one compares to Missy and everyone knows it– no need to call other girls “second tier”

    • h2ofan says:


      I get your objection, but in context Braden did state that his top 10 recruits were now committed and second tier included those outside of that group. Second tier may sound harsh, unless you recognize a 3rd, 4th and 5th tier exist. Maybe Braden was thinking about Bordeaux wine classification where the second growth or tier are often terrific and very expensive wines as well.

  14. Alex says:

    Congrats to missy and to cal.I am liking her in 200 free/back/IM as well.

  15. Huh? says:

    OK, my inner swim nerd had some time to kill… Based off of what I found on collegeswimming.com’s times (and I’m not 100% sure they are super accurate, but I didn’t want to dig into SWIMS and cross-reference, so if there are mistakes, my apologies on being sloppy), here is a potential NCAA lineup for CAL in 2014… Keep in mind the A/B cuts listed are as of today- I’m guessing some small improvements over the next two seasons to get them to the cuts indicated below… Anyhow, I just wanted to see what it looked like on paper, fully done out- and of course, Teri is far smarter than I am… this is just my take.

    Day 1
    200 Fr Relay- Vredeveld, Franklin, Bootsma, Bing
    500 Fr- Breed, Driscoll, Li
    Breed has the A cut already, Driscoll has the B, and Li is close to the B…
    200 IM- Pelton, Franklin, Naze, Bates, Piehl, Nanfria
    Pelton, Franklin have the A, Naze/Bates/Piehl have the B and Nanfria is just off the B…
    50 Fr- Vredeveld, Bing, Acker, Kong
    Vredeveld has the A, Bing/Acker have the B, Kong is just off…
    400 Med Relay- Pelton, Kong, Bootsma, Franklin

    200 Med Relay- Bootsma, Kong, Tran, Vredeveld
    400 IM- Li, Driscoll, Nanfria
    All have the B cut… Li close to the A…
    100 Fly- Tran, Bootsma, Naze
    Tran, Bootsma with the A, Naze with a B, close to the A…
    200 Fr- Breed, Pelton, Piehl, Vredeveld, Bing, Acker, Driscoll
    Breed and Pelton with the A, the rest with the B…
    100 Br- Kong, Bates, Mims
    Kong with the A, others B…
    100 Bk- Tran, Bootsma, Franklin
    Yikes, 1-2-3?
    800 Fr Relay- Franklin, Vredeveld, Pelton, Breed

    1650 Fr- Breed
    Solid A cut…
    200 Bk- Tran, Franklin, Pelton
    Yikes again…
    100 Fr- Vredeveld, Bing, Piehl, Acker
    Vredeveld has the A, others with the B…
    200 Br- Mims, Naze, Kong, Bates
    All B cuts…
    200 Fly- Li, Bootsma, Nanfria
    Li and Bootsma are just off the A cut, Nanfria has the B…
    400 Fr Relay- Vredeveld, Franklin, Bootsma, Pelton
    2 Sophs, 2 Frosh… terrifying.

    • bobo gigi says:

      Don’t forget Olivia Smoliga in the 100 back. The 1,2,3 from Cal swimmers in the 100 back isn’t sure.

    • duckduckgoose says:

      Thanks for the legwork. Stephanie Au, Melanie Klaren, and Camille Cheng have already been scorers for Cal at NCAAs as underclassmen and all will still be on the team in 2014. Georgia’s the favorite in 2013 (Dawgs add Schmitt back in and Bears subtract Jensen), but 2014 and 2015 look golden for the Bears.

    • Craig H says:

      I expect big things from Acker in the relays. That girls has oodles of untapped potential.

    • bobo gigi says:

      I think you are famous now. I have read today an article on the swimming world website and there are excerpts from a press conference with Teri McKeever and I believe she has spoken about you. She speaks about someone who has made a full line-up for her. I believe it’s you.

  16. bobo gigi says:

    What a surprise! No, seriously congrats to Missy and Cal.
    Backstroke trainings will be incredible to see. Todd Schmitz has made a fantastic job with Missy. I just think Teri McKeever, Elizabeth Pelton, Rachel Bootsma and Cindy Tran will help her to improve her starts and her underwaters. I think she can easily swim under 58.00 in the 100 back and around 2.02 in the 200 back in the next years in long course.

  17. h2ofan says:

    Certainly a 1-2-3 finish in the 100 back in 2014 is anything but a certainty; Denninghoff of Arizona, Miller of Tex AM, Smoliga and a monster frosh like Bootsma can finish top 3. What is scary is that Cal will still have 2012 scorers Tran(1), Klaran(12) and Au (13) and are adding Bootsma, Pelton and now, Missy. Given the NCAA scoring system it really doesn’t make much difference if Cal fails to sweep the top if they have 4 top and 2 bottom scores in this event. Plenty can happen in 18 months ( Deb Roth finished 2nd in the 100 to teammate Tran in 2011 and now is swimming for Arizona) , but this is the fun part of speculation.

  18. WHOKNOWS says:

    I found it quite interesting that Franklin’s commitment to Cal made our local news last night. I can’t remember when a swimmer’s commitment to a college team ever made our local news!

    • Steve Nolan says:

      Oh wow, I assumed that be a Colorado station. That’s awesome.

    • duckduckgoose says:

      Perhaps an NBC thing, but Missy was the lead tease on the late Saturday news for the Bay Area NBC affiliate. Was a separate story outside of sports on the newscast. Also Missy’s commitment was part of the crawl on Morning Joe today. Unprecedented coverage for college swimming recruiting.

  19. JM says:

    Swimming factors aside, isn’t anyone concerned at all that Missy’s devout Christian faith may not be a good fit with the left wing liberalism of Berkeley?? Texas would have been a much better choice in this regards.

    Nevertheless, best of luck to Missy! Encountering the citizenry of Telegraph Avenue should be quite an eye opening experience for Missy when she goes out shopping there with her teammates Rachel, Liz, Dana & Natalie…

    • gosharks says:

      Pleeease don’t start this here.

    • beachmouse says:

      She wen to a Jesuit high school. The Jesuits are all about getting a well-rounded world view and rigorous education. Cal is well in sync with the kind of reputation the Jesuits have.

    • duckduckgoose says:

      Missy said she felt right at home in Berkeley and knew in her heart it was the right place for her. Her parents said they were thrilled for her for following her heart. Maybe they’re all being insincere?!?

    • liquidassets says:

      I hadn’t even thought of that; that’s the LAST thing I would worry about. If anyone should worry about it at all, it’s….yup, Missy Franklin! This is a swimming website, not a religious website! But since you brought it up; fyi there are tons of left-wing Christians in the world and most likely in Berkeley too. Along with every other combination of political and religious persuasion. Swimmers do pretty well at making friends in the pool from all corners of the religious/political spectrum.

      Btw, I posted this article on my Facebook page and got alot of positive comments from non-swimmers, and not just from my friends up in the Bay Area. The interest in swimming has definitely carried over from the Olympics, and Missy’s a big part of that!

    • Craig H says:

      This is a common misconception about Berkeley. Some of the most religious people from my high school went to Cal and thrived there. The fact is that Berkeley is filled with groups from all different cultures and belief structures. Not only are there a lot of left-wing hippies and liberals but there are just as many authoritarian religious fundamentalists and conservatives. I always found it a very different place than say Stanford for that reason, where there is a general liberalness, but people tend to be pretty moderate in general and nobody drifts towards the extremes.

      • liquidassets says:

        This is all very true. And also, right wing conservative Christians are not the only type Christians, there are tons of Christians who moderate or left-wing leaning, especially in Northern California.

    • peachcobbler says:

      Berkeley is a great place! I grew up about 25 mins away and have had many friends, with different religious, economic, and social views, attend Cal. That’s what’s so great about the Bay Area! Yes, it will be different, but Cal students are very open minded and very respectful despite their different views. She will grow as a person and as a swimmer there… btw, Telegraph is relatively safe during the day, stay away at night. But there are many friendly homeless people there who are great to chat with.

  20. Dean Lockwood says:

    Worrying about left wing liberalism??? You probably don’t know Austin’s semi-official motto: “Keep Austin Weird.” Texas as a whole is indeed conservative. Austin … not so much.

  21. billy says:

    Oh, let the young lady go to college wherever she wants to. It’s her life and I happen think Berkeley is a cool place to attend school.

    She made a great choice.

    P.S. I have no connection to UC Berkeley.

    • jim says:

      Missy will do great in the Cal environment both athletically and academically. They’re an amazing team and will be a force for a long time to come. Congrats to Cal on the great hit. The Pac-12 is ridiculously talented. USC is loaded as well with their knew Freshman in Tosky and Stewart. Stanford grabbing Neal is big for them after having a solid recruiting class last year. Lea was a tough loss for them though. After UCLA has had poor showings over the last 3-4 years they bring in a top freshman class this year (i believe their recruiting class was top 7) and they already have strong verbals for next year. 4 of the top 10 California recruits for 2013 have verbally committed to UCLA for next year. White, Burton, Mack and Tse have all verbally committed to UCLA. Top backstrokers, breastrokers and sprinter are included and we hear there are more to come. Maybe not a contender for a national championship or a Pac-12 championship but certainly top 10 in 3 years. The entire conference is amazing!

  22. berkeley says:

    There are like 7 theology schools in Berkeley…including a Jesuit school. If you don’t actually know about people or places, you should do some research. I bet many of you don’t know that Berkeley is like 40% Asian undergrads. It is not by any means a liberal university. It has been taken over by large corporations in the Science departments, and the Haas school of business. It is still one of the best educations you could ever hope for.

  23. Swimmy the Greek says:

    PAC12 crazy good. CAL, USC, Stanford, Az, Az State
    all top 25. Take that SEC.

  24. cynthiacurran says:

    Well, people do think about sterotypes when comes to religion. I bet the bay area has more Eastern Orthodox Christians than lets’s say Orange and San Diego which don’t as many immirgants from eastern europe. Also, because of Rick Warren people think of Orange and San Diego being evangelical but a lot of folks there according to pew don’t attend church about 6 percent below the national average. Both north and south have more folks that belong to non-christian religions probably around 6 percent versus 3 percent nationally.

  25. sleeh says:

    “…despite insisting on swimming high school throughout her career (unlike her future Cal teammates Liz Pelton and Rachel Bootsma, who both sat out to focus on Olympic dreams).” Kind of an unfair dig at Bootsma, and possibly Pelton. I understand CO allows high school swimmers to train with their clubs and compete with high school–not the case in MN, at least. Club coaches cannot train a swimmer while they are competing in high school. So, if that were the case in CO, Franklin might have sat out high school, too.

  26. berzerkeley no more says:


    great article about modern day berkeley! All you haters step off…

  27. HawkeyegonetoCO says:

    Hmmm…I don’t think this article was very well-researched. Braden Keith left out a serious factor in Missy’s decision: her former Stars teammate, Englewood native, and friend Kelly Naze is a freshman at Cal.
    Also, perhaps Missy’s to attend Cal wasn’t as much of a “slam dunk” as the media would have us believe. Missy and Georgia alum Kara Lynn-Joyce trained extensively together when Lynn-Joyce spent time post-Georgia as a member of the Stars club. Plus Missy’s boyfriend, John Martens, is a freshman swimmer at Texas. Funny how the only 3 schools Missy visited were Cal, Georgia, and Texas…

  28. MissyFan says:

    Hawkeye – maybe you should go back and read all of the other articles Braden has written on this. Dont recognize your username so maybe youre a new reader but all of the above issues have been addressed. Missy has a former Stars teammate at both Cal and Georgia, Missy actually has lots of former training partners with both programs thanks to the OLYMPICS and Kara Lynn Joyce definitely doesnt swim at Georgia anymore. This isn’t a normal recruitment where things like former hs teammates carry massive weights.

    Also, Missy’s boyfriend committed to texas long before she scheduled a visit there, she only scheduled a visit there after a former GEORGIA coach took over the head coaching job. Do you really think that Missy would go to a school because of her highschool boyfriend???????? Ouch.

  29. GOLDENBEAR says:

    Taylor Young from the Santa Rosa Neptunes just committed to Cal, she is an Olympic Trials caliber breastroker!!

    • jim says:

      She’s a good swimmer. Her and Li will add some strong breastroke talent to Cal which after this year will be needed. UCLA did just as well with breastrokers getting the #1 Californian in the 100 breastroke (Burton) and #3 (Tse). Both are top 5 in the 200 (Li and Young #1 +#2). Pac-12 continues to strengthen.

  30. Swimmy the Greek says:

    Cal has Meliisa Bates and Kong in addition to
    Young for next year so far. UCLA probably by choice has remained just a very good unranked (2011) national and PAC-12 school.
    Just behind too many other schools in a very tough PAC 12 to be concerned about CAL until
    proven otherwise at the pac12 and NCAA championships.

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The most common question asked about Braden Keith is “when does he sleep?” That’s because Braden has, in two years... Read More »