The Golden Bears’ Missy “The Missile” Franklin nudged herself into the SwimVortex top ten world rankings with a 2:09.57 in the women’s 200-meter backstroke at the the Mel Zajac Canada Cup in Vancouver. The Olympic gold medalist proved to everyone watching why she is the Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year, and why she will continue to be unmatched in her style of swim.
Franklin won multiple medals at the long course pool, beating out Pointe-Claire’s Samantha Cheverton in the 200-meter freestyle competition. It was California’s team who beat out Canada, for first place in the event’s women’s 400-meter free relay, that saw the competition’s closing.
The following night she would fall to Canada’s Brittany MacLean in the 400 free and 800 free relay, but no matter.
The Golden Bears’ Caitlin Leverenz added another gold for the school, out-swimming Celina Li for a first place finish in the women’s 400-meter IM finale, touching for a finish with a 4:42.81 speed.
Yet the spotlight remains on freshman Missy Franklin. Her college accolades this year are unmatched, having won the 2014 NCAA title in the 200-yard freestyle — setting an American-record time. She would win go on to win a backstroke sweep of the 50-100-200 events, with Elizabeth Pelton helping to achieve the Cal sweep.
“It’s unbelievable . . . There’s nothing like being a part of a college team,” Franklin recently said in a post published to Cal’s website. “I have always loved being a part of a team, in that sports environment that you create with a team and the family that they become. Coming to Cal, that was such a big part of my decision.”
The sky seems to be the limit for California’s women’s swim team. And if her freshman year is any indicator, Missy Franklin shows no signs of slowing down, and will torpedo through any competition or possible barrier in front of her. As a Golden Bear, she is as fierce as they come.
The Mel Zajac Canada Cup medals only add to the proud success of Cal winning their third Pac-12 Title in team history.
And next year, guided by The Missile, the outcome should be no different.