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Swimming: Franklin up for sportswoman of year

Cal swimmer Missy Franklin, who won a record six gold medals at last summer’s world championships, is among six nominees for the 15th annual Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year.

The freshman from Centennial, Colo., who won four gold medals at the 2012 London Olympics, joins a list of high-profile female athletes nominated for the award.

Also up for Laureus honors are German soccer star Nadine Angerer, the FIFA Women’s Player of the Year; Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, winner of three sprint gold medals at the world track and field championships; Russian pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva, winner of the world title; Slovenia skier Tina Maze, the overall World Cup champion; American tennis star Serena Williams, winner of the French Open and U.S. Open titles.

It’s the second straight year Franklin was nominated.

The winners in a variety of categories will be announced next month during a ceremony in Malaysia. Past U.S. winners include Williams in 2003 and 2010 and skier Lindsay Vonn in 2011.

At the 2013 World Championships in Barcelona, Franklin captured the 100- and 200-meter backstroke and 200-meter freestyle, and she was a member of the winning USA teams in the 400- and 800-meter free relay and 400-meter medley relay. Earlier in the summer, she won four individual events at U.S. Nationals — 100 and 200 back and 100 and 200 free.

The Laureus nomination is the latest in a growing list of honors for the 18-year-old. In October, Franklin was named the Sportswoman of the Year for an individual sports by the Women’s Sports Foundation.

ESPNW also placed her No. 3 on its list of the most impactful female athletes of 2013, and Time Magazine chose her as one of the top 16 most influential teens of 2013.

Franklin and her Cal teammates are in Federal Way, Wash., this week for the Pac-12 Championships, which run Wednesday through Saturday. The season concludes at the NCAA Championships March 20-22 in Minneapolis.

Laureus comprises the Laureus World Sports Academy, the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation and the Laureus World Sports Awards, which promote social change and celebrate sporting excellence.

Jeff Faraudo