Former Cal Golden Bear Missy Franklin has earned the ESPY Award as the top Female NCAA Athlete of the Year. That honor pairs with the Honda Sports Award she won in June that gives the same title.
The ESPY awards are given out annually by the largest American sports television network, ESPN, in honor of the best of the prior year in sports.
Franklin came home from her second, and final, NCAA Championship meet in March with 5 NCAA titles, including all three of her individual events. The highlight among those swims was a 1:39.10 in the 200 yard freestyle, which made her the first woman to get under the 1:40 barrier.
This award is another first for Franklin – she’s the first swimmer to ever win Female College Athlete of the Year. This specific honor has been handed out 13 times, with the winners being 10 basketball players and 3 softball players.
Female swimmers have, however, won the overall Athlete of the Year before – Amy van Dyken took the honor in 1997.
This is Franklin’s 2nd ESPY. In 2013, after her 2012 Olympic conquest, Franklin won Best Female Olympian. She was also nominated for Best Female Athlete that year, but not college athlete as she was still in high school at the time.
Franklin won the award over a field of five:
- Taylor Cummings, Maryland Lacrosse
- Lauren Haeger, Florida Sotball
- Micha Hancock, Penn State Volleyball
- Breanna Stewart, UConn Basketball
- MISSY FRANKLIN, CAL SWIMING
Franklin was not in attendance to accept the award, as she stayed home in Colorado to train just a few weeks out from departure for the 2015 World Championships in Kazan, Russia.