Covering High School Sports in America
File photo by Ray Chen

Missy Franklin celebrates with a Regis Jesuit (Aurora, Colo.) teammate last year during a dual meet. Franklin, who won four gold medals at the London Olympics last summer, has decided to participate for the Raiders this season, according to The Denver Post.

Missy Franklin is a four-time Olympic gold medalist, but she also is a senior at Regis Jesuit (Aurora, Colo.) who loves her school and her prep swimming teammates. That combination led her back to the high school swimming ranks.

The Denver Post reported late Tuesday night that Franklin has decided to compete for the Raiders this season. She had wrestled with the decision of late for a variety of reasons, including possible competitor concerns.

"She's doing this because of her team, her school and the other girls who swim in high school," Regis Jesuit girls athletic director John Koslosky told the newspaper. "And she wants to. They all want her there."

The winter sports season begins today in Colorado, but Franklin is not expected to join the Raiders until after the New Year. The plan is to participate in only a handful of meets, much like last season when she competed in a dual meet against perennial power Cherry Creek, the Continental League championships and state.

"Don't expect to show up at a Regis Jesuit meet and expect to see her," Koslosky told the Post.

At the Class 5A state meet last season, Franklin won the 200 freestyle as well as her third consecutive title in the 100 backstroke. Her appearance at the state meet resulted in sell-out crowds and a media frenzy.

It also created challenges for state officials to accommodate all who were interested in attending, particularly parents of participants. Franklin seemed aware of those issues, but the state's governing body is glad those did not deter her from suiting up for her senior season.

"The fact that Missy Franklin still sees such joy and excitement by swimming for her high school team and for the chance at another state championship speaks volumes for the importance of high school activities," said Bethany Brookens, an assistant commissioner who manages the sport for the Colorado High School Activities Association.

"Missy continues to exemplify the importance of swimming for something larger than herself, and we're thrilled she will be representing her high school this season."