Originally from Pretoria, South Africa Franko Jonker is a breaststroke specialist at Texas A&M. Although she’s only in her sophomore season, Jonker graduated from her Brazilian high school in 2010. Jonker lived in Sao Paulo, Brazil, graduating from St. Francis College, and has lived in places across the globe – she was both a South African and Brazilian Junior National Champion, and she also competed for Canyons Aquatic Club in California before joining the Aggie squad. Jonker, a former field hockey state team player and track & field athlete, came from a family full of athletes – her mother was an intercollegiate track & field athlete, and her father was an intercollegiate rugby player. With intentions to study Fashion Design, Jonker ultimately chose A&M because of the coaching staff. In just her first season as an Aggie she became the fifth-fastest breaststroker in school history in both the 100 and 200 distances.
As a freshman Jonker placed 11th and 14th in the breaststroke events at the SEC Championships. Jonker moved on to the NCAA Championships, finishing 28th in the 200 breaststroke, in a best time, and she also finished 25th in the 100 breaststroke.
Jonker is currently in her sophomore year as an Aggie. She won the ‘B’ final of the 100 breaststroke at the SEC Championships, swimming her first sub-1:00 100 breaststroke. She also came in seventh in the 200 breaststroke and swam on the runner-up 400 medley relay. Jonker qualified individually for the NCAA meet, finishing 24th in the 100 breaststroke and 38th in the 200 breaststroke. She earned her first NCAA All-America honors by finishing 11th in the 400 medley relay.
After winning the “Sportswoman of the Year” in 2006, Jonker went on to become a Paulista state champion in the 100m breaststroke. In 2009 she was the Brazilian Junior National Champion in the 100m breaststroke and 200m breaststroke – the following year she was the South African Junior National Champion in the same events. In 2012 she finaled at the South African Olympic Trials in three events.