Regis Jesuit High School Dedicates Pool to Five-Time Olympic Champion Missy Franklin

Regis Jesuit High School dedicated its pool on Thursday in honor of six-time Olympic medalist Missy Franklin, who broke national records and rose to international stardom during her time at the Colorado prep school from 2010-13.

Franklin, 28, attended the dedication ceremony with her family, her coaches, and members of Regis Jesuit’s 2023-24 swim and dive teams. The Missy Franklin ’13 Endowed Scholarship was also unveiled, made possible by a gift from fellow alum John Sheridan, that will be awarded annually to a female student.

Franklin arrived at Regis Jesuit in 2010 having already competed at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials as a 13-year-old. In December of her freshman year, she won silver in the 200 backstroke at the 2010 Short Course World Championships. At her first Class 5A State Championships, Franklin broke the national independent high school record in the 100 free (48.39 relay leadoff).

In 2011, Franklin broke state records in the 50 free, 100 back, and 400 free relay to lead Regis Jesuit to the 5A title, snapping a six-year winning streak by rival Cherry Creek. Later that year, she went on to capture five medals (three gold, one silver, one bronze) at her first long course World Championships in Shanghai, including an individual title in the 200 back with a national record of 2:05.10. In October of 2011, she broke the American record in the SCM 200 back (2:00.03), a standard that still stands to this day.

Regis Jesuit couldn’t defend its team title in 2012, but Franklin broke the national independent school record in the 200 free (1:43.15). That summer, she reached new levels of fame with a huge performance at the London 2012 Olympics. At 17 years old, she won four Olympic gold medals, including individual titles in the 100 back (American record of 58.33) and 200 back (world record of 2:04.06).

During her senior year, there was debate about whether Franklin should swim at the high school level given all of her international accolades. After she opted to return for her final season at Regis Jesuit, the Wall Street Journal even ran an article quoting parents and former swimmers at rival Cherry Creek who questioned her decision. Franklin turned down millions in potential endorsement deals to maintain her status as an amateur so she could compete at Cal beginning in the fall of 2013, but she did appear in an episode of Pretty Little Liars in March of 2013.

Franklin capped her Regis Jesuit career with a second 5A team title in 2013, taking down the national high school record in the 200 IM (1:56.85) along the way. That summer, she won a record six gold medals at the 2013 World Championships.

Franklin went on to enjoy a successful three years at Cal, where she broke an NCAA record in the 200 free (1:39.10 from 2015) that remains on the books today. Franklin added another Olympic gold medal in 2016 as a prelims swimmer on the 4×200 free relay before retiring in 2018 due to shoulder issues.

“This year marks the 20th anniversary of the opening of its Girls Division and has been celebrating the Wisdom of Women as its theme, making the pool naming for an extraordinary alum whose character and achievements reflect the school’s mission and values especially fitting,” Regis Jesuit said in a press release. “Missy is the first female graduate to be extended such an honor.”

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Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
1 month ago

I still remember the Missy and Katie show at the 2013 World Aquatics Championships. USA Swimming sure could use Missy’s split (1:54.27) in the women’s 4 x 200 meter freestyle relay at the 2024 Summer Olympics.

Christine Breedy
1 month ago

Those Cherry Creek ‘swimmers and parents’ who questioned her decision to swim with her team her senior year should be ashamed of themselves-

RealSlimThomas
1 month ago

I remember my swim team taking a “field trip” to watch her movie in theaters. Must have been a special showing or something.

DerbyContender
Reply to  RealSlimThomas
1 month ago

One thing I recall about the movies was that Missy Franklin, 4x Olympic Gold Medalist, helped clean up her team area after the meet. What a great humble attitude.

I mentioned that to the HS coach at the pool I ran. The context was that MF had the time and humility to clean up after her team, yet his entitled swimmers who barely broke :30 in a 50 free acted as if the “help” (me and my staff) was responsible for their chairs, Clif Bar wrappers, and Gatorade.

SMO
1 month ago

Great story. Great role model.

Hook ‘em
1 month ago

Awesome to see. True legend! Miss her in the sport, was a great role model for so many.

cynthia curran
Reply to  Hook ‘em
1 month ago

She really deserves it.

About Riley Overend

Riley is an associate editor interested in the stories taking place outside of the pool just as much as the drama between the lane lines. A 2019 graduate of Boston College, he arrived at SwimSwam in April of 2022 after three years as a sports reporter and sports editor at newspapers …

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