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Missy Franklin To Cal: Olympic Swimming Star Commits To California

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MISSY FRANKLIN
United States' Missy Franklin holds her gold medal in the women's 200-meter backstroke final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012. | AP

BERKELEY, Calif. -- Olympic star Missy Franklin has verbally committed to attend the University of California, ending the pursuit of one of the most sought after swimming recruits.

"Committed to swim at Cal Berkeley! I am officially a baby Golden Bear?????? I am so honored to be a part of such a special team! (hash)GoBears," Franklin tweeted Saturday.

Franklin will be reunited with Cal coach Teri McKeever, who directed the U.S. women's team at the London Olympics, where Franklin won five medals. The 17-year-old won the 100- and 200-meter backstroke events, earned gold medals in the 400 medley and 800 freestyle relays, and a bronze in the 400 freestyle relay.

Franklin will join Olympic teammate Rachel Bootsma on the Bears. Natalie Coughlin and Dana Vollmer, two of her other Olympic teammates, starred at Cal.

Franklin, a senior at Regis Jesuit High in Aurora, Colo., had made earlier recruiting visits to Georgia and Texas. As a result of her decision, Franklin won't make a scheduled visit to Southern California.

Cal can't comment on the commitment until Franklin signs a letter of intent.

Franklin only plans to swim collegiately for her first two years, and then will turn pro in 2015, ahead of the 2016 Rio Olympics, according to Swimming World.

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