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Missy Franklin Named A Breakout Athlete Of 2011

Denver's Missy Franklin was named a breakout athlete of the year by and is poised for big things as the 2012 London Olympics approach.

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Even if one isn't a swimming fan, the name Missy Franklin probably rings a bell -- at least for those who live in Colorado. Franklin is a 16-year-old who attends Regis Jesuit High School in Aurora. And she's a big deal in the swimming world. Just look some of her 2011 highlights (via her USA Swimming profile):

Won five medals at the 2011 FINA World Championships, including three gold in the 200m back, 4x100m medley relay and 4x200m free relay ... won the 100m free and 100m back and finished fourth in the 200m IM at the 2011 ConocoPhillips National Championships

And with the close of 2011, Sports Illustrated has named Franklin one of its breakout athletes of the year.

Twenty twelve could be an even bigger year for Franklin as she competes for a spot in the London Summer Olympics. The spotlight will become even more fixated on her when she crosses the pond to partake in the chance for more gold medals.