Despite the banning of high-tech polyurethane super suits, there are still records being broken, which is a good sign for the future of American swimming. The most impressive is Missy Franklin, a 14-year old high school freshman at Regis Jesuit in Aurora, Colorado. As reported in the Aurora Sentinel, Franklin broke 3 National Independent High School records, as well as three USA-Swimming National Age Group Records in the Colorado 5A State Swim Meet this weekend.
Her first record of the day came in the 100 backstroke. Her time of 53.16 broke her own Colorado State record handily, but more significantly she broke the 13-14 National Age Group (NAG) Record set by Elizabeth Pelton in 2008.
Just 2 events later, Franklin led off the second-place 400 free relayin a blazing 48.39. That time broke Christine Swindel’s (Guliver Prep, Coral Gables, Fl.) National Independent High School record of 48.90 set in 2002. The overall high school record is still owned by budding superstar Dagny Knutson of North Dakota, who swam a 48.15 last year. The good news for Franklin is that she still has 3 more years to top that mark. Her time of 48.39, incidentally, also lowered her own NAG mark of 48.48 set in the prelims.
By the way, 48.39 would give her the second fastest time in the NCAA this year, behind only Texas A&M’s Julia Wilkinson, and she’s only 14. That is simply an amazing feat.
Franklin also swam a very fast time in the 50 free (22.49) which left her just behind Swindle’s national mark of 22.39. The time was dangerously close, however, to breaking the national 13-14 record of 22.44. This time was set by none other than the ageless one-Dara Torres- all the way back in 1982. Franklin will have more chances at this record, and will likely grab it, as she doesn’t age up to the next group until her birthday on May 10th.
The 14-year old has a stature and an impressive international resume that already outclass heryoung age. She stands 5’11” tall, competed for Team USA at the 2009 Duel in the Pool, and was the second-youngest swimmer at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials.