Nov. 20, 2012
NEW YORK - Missy Franklin added to her substantial collection of accolades when she took home the Female Athlete of the Year award at the ninth annual USA Swimming Golden Goggle Awards on Monday night at the New York Marriott Marquis. One of the newest Golden Bears, the U.S. Olympic star also joined Cal alumna and fellow Olympic gold medalist Dana Vollmer in capturing the Relay Performance of the Year, while former Bear Jessica Hardy won the Perseverance Award.
Franklin, who last week signed a National Letter of Intent to join head coach Teri McKeever's championship program, collected five medals - including four gold - at the Olympics last summer in London. She claimed individual gold in the 100-meter backstroke (American-record 58.33) and 200-meter backstroke (world-record 2:04.06), while she was part of winning teams in the 400-meter medley relay (world-record 3:52.05) and 800-meter freestyle relay (Olympic-record 7:42.92). Her 400-meter freestyle relay - which included Hardy - claimed the bronze in an American-record 3:24.24. Cal legend Natalie Coughlin also won bronze after swimming in the preliminary round but not in the final of the 400-free relay.
The gold-medal winning 400-medley relay won the Relay Performance Award, with Franklin leading off with the backstroke leg and Vollmer swimming the butterfly leg. Current freshman Rachel Bootsma (backstroke leg) and Hardy (freestyle leg) also won gold with that relay, after swimming in the preliminary round of that event.
Hardy - who missed the 2008 Olympics due to a suspension - won the Perseverance Award after bouncing back to qualify for the 2012 Olympic Team and collecting two medals.
The current Bears return to the pool when they compete in the Georgia Fall Invitational from Nov. 30-Dec. 2 in Athens, Ga.