Coughlin, Vollmer, Leverenz, and now, Franklin?
It certainly has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? After sweeping four gold medals in the 2012 London Olympics, swimming phenom and high school senior Missy Franklin is looking for a university, and Cal seems to be very high on her list.
Franklin was spotted throughout Berkeley today, whether by Spieker Aquatics Center or in an English discussion section, getting to know the ins and outs of the university and the esteemed Cal women’s swimming program. She will be rejoining her U.S. Olympic women’s swim team coach Teri McKeever and teammates Caitlin Leverenz and Rachel Bootsma this Labor Day weekend.
Franklin couldn’t have picked a better time to witness the best of Berkeley. With Memorial Stadium officially reopening this Saturday, Franklin will be a part of a very special moment for the university and its athletics program, a moment when the Cal school spirit will be at its peak. If spotted inside the football game, Franklin can bet that she would receive the loudest of greetings by Cal fans.
Franklin seems to be mainly deciding between Cal, USC, and Georgia for her college. While USC and Georgia, which finished second and third respectively in last year’s NCAA Championships behind Cal, are making a solid push to woo the Olympic star, Cal provides the most connections from the Olympics and the best swimming program in the nation in the last four years. Cal also gives Franklin a chance to follow the footsteps of her childhood hero Natalie Coughlin, who she swam alongside this summer in London.
So Missy — if I may call you Missy — come to Berkeley. You probably turned down million of dollars by not choosing to go professional early in your career. The program, the connections, the history and the academics here will be enough to compensate for the fortune you left behind.