Missy Franklin stays winning, even when her car is on a tow truck.
The graduate of Aurora’s Regis Jesuit High School — who just turned pro after swimming two seasons at the University of California-Berkeley — won the award for Best Female College Athlete at the 23rd annual ESPY awards Wednesday in Los Angeles, though she couldn’t make it to receive the honor.
Franklin’s acceptance had to come via video on social media, as she shared her bit of car trouble with the audience at L.A. Live’s Microsoft Theater in downtown Los Angeles, as well as with the national television audience watching on ESPN.
“Wish more than anything I could have been at the ESPYs tonight. This is what is happening instead!,” the four-time Olympic goal medalist said in her video, standing in front of her car as it was put on a tow truck. “Car broke down in the middle of the road! But in all seriousness it was such a great honor to even be considered along with such incredible athletes. Huge congrats to all of the other nominees, you are all such a huge inspirations to me and countless others. And THANK YOU to everyone who voted.”
Wish more than anything I could have been at the ESPY's tonight. This is what was happening instead!?? Broken car! pic.twitter.com/yonQRlHVxq
— Missy Franklin (@missyfranklin) July 16, 2015
Update: Via Twitter, Franklin announced her car had been fixed and returned by the next morning.
The other nominees for the ESPY were Maryland lacrosse player Taylor Cummings, Florida softball star Lauren Haeger, Penn State volleyball player Micha Hancock and Brenna Stewart of the Connecticut basketball team.
Franklin had a tremendous resume, however, as she helped pace her Cal team — which also included Smoky Hill graduate Caroline Piehl — to its fourth NCAA championship in the past seven seasons in March. Individually, Franklin won individual national titles in the 200 yard freestyle (in American record fashion), as well as the 200 backstroke and 200 individual medley, plus she posted relay victories with the Bears’ 200 and 800 freestyle relays.
The NCAA Swimmer of the Year also won the Honda Cup as the nation’s top female college athlete in June.
Franklin landed a mega sponsorship with Speedo after turning pro and has returned to Colorado to train with coach Todd Schmitz of her former club, the Colorado Stars, in preparation for a number of upcoming international meets. Her focus then turns to the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janiero.
— Sports Editor Courtney Oakes