After her third Big Ten Athlete of the Week award, you would think Michigan State junior Tori Franklin would be unphased by the attention. But this is the girl who received her first award after only her first meet as a Spartan.
Announced on Monday, Franklin was named Big Ten Field Athlete of the Week after her record-breaking performance at this past weekend’s Meyo Invite. She broke her own school record in the triple jump with a mark of 13.39m 43-11 ¼.
“I’m happy that I got it. I haven’t gotten (an award) since freshman year, so I’m excited that I’m getting back on the right track,” Franklin said. “I’m just going to keep moving up from here.”
Franklin has been making significant strides since she first stepped foot on a collegiate track in 2012, receiving her first Big Ten weekly honor after establishing a new conference record in the triple jump. At the time, her jump was ranked first in the Big Ten and third in the nation. Later in the 2012 season, she was awarded the weekly honor again after setting the previous school record that she broke this past weekend.
“Freshman year I didn’t really know where my talents were, so every accomplishment was awesome (for me),” Franklin said.
An Economics major from Downers Grove, Ill., Franklin originally started track and field as a way to stay in shape for basketball.
Basketball stuck for about two years, until her junior year when she started to seriously focus on track and field. She went on to be an All-American in the triple jump and 4x400m with multiple appearances at the State Championship.
Now at MSU, she competes in the high, long and triple jump and the 400m. Last year she was also part of the successful women’s 4x400m relay team who placed second at the 2013 Big Ten Indoor Championship.
Franklin has stayed at the top of the rankings much of her three years as a Spartan and is currently No. 1 in the Big Ten and No. 3 in the nation on the NCAA Division 1 qualifying list.
With a foot and nine inches separating her from the second ranked Ellie Ewere from Nebraska, Franklin has quite a bit of room to work with, but has her goals set to break new ground.
“I’m going to try to break that Big Ten record,” Franklin said.
The record is about two feet away from her personal record, but with only having competed two times this season so far, she is confident she can break it.
For Franklin to be doing so well, so early, is only an indicator of what she has in store for the rest of the season.
“I’m excited, big things are going to happen.”
Alexa McCarthy is the host of Last Leg for Impact Sports.
Photo: Michigan State University Track and Field