It’s amazing how quickly one athlete can change the landscape of an entire sport. This weekend’s Colorado High School State Championships, which begin on Friday, will be aired live on ESPN3 – the webcasting arm of the sporting juggernaut.
Prelims will begin on Friday at 4PM Mountain, with Saturday’s finals starting at 2 PM.
The meet will feature Missy Franklin and the defending champions Regis Jesuit, as well as top-5-ranked women’s recruit Bonnie Brandon, who will be headed to Arizona in the fall.
Not only is the meet televised, but so huge was the demand that tickets had to be sold online, and were reportedly gone within minutes of being released.
Franklin will be entered in the 100 back and 200 free in the meet, and she is easily the top seed in both (even with her seeds coming only from this year’s high school meets). She has bests in the two races, from yards meets, of 52.30/1:43.70, respectively.
Expect her to smash both National Independent High School Records in the meet: she’s already got the backstroke from last year’s meet, and the 200 free is held by Chelsea Chenault at 1:45.12. She will be gunning for her first overall National High School Record as well, however, with those targets standing at 51.53 (Rachel Bootsma) and 1:42.81 (Dagny Knutson).
Though Franklin’s RJ team are the defending champions, and they knocked off Cherry Creek in a dual meet earlier this year for the first time in program history, Cherry Creek is still considered the favorites at the state Championships. They have a very deep team, though their big achilles’ heal is the fact that they don’t have anyone projected to place in the top 8 of either of Franklin’s events.
What they do have, however, is the best distance swimmer in the class of 2012 in Brandon. She has the top seed in the 500 free (her best is a 4:38.69, though she’s entered at a 4:56); and is only the 4th seed in the 200 IM (seeded at 2:06.48). Though she’s been a 2:00.6 in that 200 IM, it would have been great to see her and Franklin square off head-to-head in the 200 free.
There are some other great seniors showing in this meet as well. Heritage High senior Michelle Patton, a Northwestern signee, will give Brandon a great battle in the 200 IM. Laura Day out of Lewis-Palmer High will star in the 100 breaststroke.
Among younger stars include sophomore Erin Metzger-Seymour, who will be one of the top in-state recruits the year after Missy. She sits as a likely silver-medalist in the 200 free (who very well could break 1:50), and comes in as the favorite in the 100 fly.