High-SchoolGirl: Olympic swimming

American Missy Franklin, 17, collected her third gold medal -- and fourth medal overall -- of the London Olympics on Friday when she set a world record in the 200 backstroke.

Franklin clocked 2 minutes, 4.06 seconds, 0.75 quicker than the mark set by Kirsty Coventry of Zimbabwe at the 2009 world championships in Rome.

Fellow American Katie Ledecky -- who, at 15, is the youngest member of the U.S. swim team -- won the 800-meter freestyle. Ledecky narrowly missed a world record in the grueling race, falling off pace on the last lap and finishing in 8 minutes, 14.63 seconds.

Franklin, who will be a senior at Regis Jesuit (Aurora, Colo.), also won gold in the women's 100-meter backstroke and and 4x200 freestyle relay, and bronze in the women's 4x100 freestyle relay. She is scheduled to swim in one more event, the 4x100 medley relay, on Saturday.

Ledecky, who will be a sophomore at Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart (Bethesda, Md.) this fall, says freestyle isn't even her best event. "When I was younger, butterfly may have been my better stroke," she said earlier this spring.

Missy Franklin wins second gold medal

August, 1, 2012
8/01/12
5:31
PM ET
Missy Franklin, 17, collected her second gold medal of the London Games on Wednesday when the women's 4x200 freestyle relay won in an Olympic-record time of 7 minutes, 42.92 seconds.

Australia took silver and France won bronze.

Franklin, who will be a senior at Regis Jesuit (Aurora, Colo.), also won gold in the women's 100-meter backstroke and bronze in the women's 4x100 freestyle relay. She is scheduled to swim in three more events, the 100 freestyle on Thursday, the 200 backstroke on Friday and the 4x100 medley relay on Saturday.

Read the full story here.
Missy Franklin failed to reach the podium for the first time at the London Olympics.

The senior-to-be at Regis Jesuit (Aurora, Colo.), who struck gold in the women's 100-meter backstroke on Monday and won bronze in the 4x100 freestyle relay on Saturday, finished fourth in the 200-meter freestyle on Tuesday.

Franklin is scheduled to compete in two more relays and two more individual events at the Games.

Allison Schmitt, 22, of the United States won gold and set an Olympic record in 1 minute, 53.61 seconds.

Read the full story here.

Missy Franklin strikes gold in London

July, 30, 2012
7/30/12
4:20
PM ET
Missy Franklin won her first gold medal at the London Olympics on Monday.

Franklin, who will be a senior at Regis Jesuit (Aurora, Colo.) in the fall, won the women's 100-meter backstroke in 58.33 seconds. On Saturday, Franklin won bronze in the 4x100 freestyle relay. Lia Neal, a senior-to be at the Convent of the Sacred Heart (New York), was also on the third-place relay team.

Read the full story here.
Tracy CaulkinsGetty ImagesTracy Caulkins won 48 national titles, set 63 American records and conquered five world marks.
ESPN is marking the 40th anniversary of Title IX by unveiling the top 40 female athletes of the past 40 years.

When swimmer Tracy Caulkins was just 15, she won five gold medals at the 1978 world championships, helping her to become the youngest-ever winner of the Sullivan Award as America's outstanding amateur athlete.

Imagine her disappointment when the United States boycotted the 1980 Moscow Olympics when she was 17 and in her prime.

But, Caulkins, No. 23 in ESPN's countdown, refocused her training while competing for the University of Florida, where she won 12 NCAA titles, and came back to win gold in the 400-meter individual medley, the 200-meter IM and the medley relay, where she swam the breaststroke leg, at the 1984 Olympics.

"She was the most amazing all-around swimmer I've ever seen," Rowdy Gaines says. "Think about it: She set American records in every stroke."

Read the complete story from espnW here.

Earlier in this series:
No. 40: Diver Fu Mingxia
No. 39: Jockey Julie Krone
No. 38: Gymnast Mary Lou Retton
No. 37: Hockey player Cammi Granato
No. 36: Soccer player Kristine Lilly
No. 35: Basketball player Diana Taurasi
No 34: Volleyball player Flo Hyman
No. 33: Soccer player Abby Wambach
No. 32: Swimmer Mary T. Meagher
No. 31: Marathoner Joan Benoit
No. 30: Sprinter Gail Devers
No. 29: Basketball player Nancy Lieberman
No. 28: Marathoner Grete Waitz
No. 27: Soccer player Michelle Akers
No. 26: Basketball player Chamique Holdsclaw
No. 25: Swimmer Dara Torres
No. 24: Golfer Nancy Lopez
Dara TorresJonathan Newton/The Washington Post/Getty ImagesDara Torres says her dry-land workouts have helped her race at an Olympic level for more than 25 years.
ESPN is marking the 40th anniversary of Title IX by unveiling the top 40 female athletes of the past 40 years.

In the swimming pool, nobody has been faster longer than Dara Torres.

The 45-year-old mother, who is No. 25 in ESPN's countdown, has collected 12 Olympic medals over five Games, including three silvers at the 2008 Games when she was 41. Torres is still among the best in the world on any given day, swimming a time of 25.24 seconds in a runner-up finish in the 50-meter freestyle at the U.S. winter nationals last year, and is attempting to swim in her sixth Olympics this summer in London.

Whether she makes it or not, her place in the sport is safe.

"We've never seen anything like what she's done," says Rowdy Gaines, the NBC swimming analyst and three-time gold medalist at the 1984 Los Angeles Games. "Certainly, among women, she's one of the most influential swimmers of all time."

Read the complete story from espnW here.

Earlier in this series:
No. 40: Diver Fu Mingxia
No. 39: Jockey Julie Krone
No. 38: Gymnast Mary Lou Retton
No. 37: Hockey player Cammi Granato
No. 36: Soccer player Kristine Lilly
No. 35: Basketball player Diana Taurasi
No 34: Volleyball player Flo Hyman
No. 33: Soccer player Abby Wambach
No. 32: Swimmer Mary T. Meagher
No. 31: Marathoner Joan Benoit
No. 30: Sprinter Gail Devers
No. 29: Basketball player Nancy Lieberman
No. 28: Marathoner Grete Waitz
No. 27: Soccer player Michelle Akers
No. 26: Basketball player Chamique Holdsclaw

SPONSORED HEADLINES

nullnull