Covering High School Sports in America
File photo by Ray Chen

Missy Franklin, who just completed her junior year at Regis Jesuit (Colo.), qualified for the Olympics by setting a U.S. record in the 100-meter backstroke Wednesday.


The expectations of multiple Olympic gold medals might have overwhelmed a lesser talent. Regis Jesuit (Aurora, Colo.) standout Missy Franklin is proving, though, that she is in a class of her own.

Franklin, who just completed her junior year of high school, officially became a member of the U.S. Olympic team, and she did it in style on Wednesday. Franklin set an American record in the 100-meter backstroke with a time of 58.85 seconds to win the event and clinch an Olympic berth. It also was the top time posted in the world this year.

In the same race, Rachel Bootsma, who recently graduated from Eden Prairie (Minn.), also qualified for London by finishing second with a time of 59.49. Two-time Olympic champion Natalie Coughlin, who had held U.S. record in the event (58.94), finished third. Only the top two placers qualify.

"Dreams really do come true," Franklin tweeted after the race (@FranklinMissy). "Thank you so much to everyone who has supported me and helped me achieve my goals! Wouldn't be here without you."

Franklin still will compete in the 200 freestyle finals (Thursday) and the 200 backstroke finals (Sunday).