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BC Swim team makes school history

Nationals Bound! The swimming and diving team has stroked their way onto the national stage. Berea will be represented by two relay teams and a handful of individual qualifying competitors.

The swimming Mountaineers are making Berea history.This marks the first time a majority of the team has qualified to compete in nationals in over six years. The men's and the women's relay teams will be accompanied by individuals all looking to win big at the national competition. In total eleven members of the swimming team will be competing. The large number of competitors suggests hard work and determination by the Mountaineers as a whole.

Coach James Barret remarked, “I am excited and always look forward to this time of year. I care about the swimmers improving their timing... and not the placing in the meets. By the swimmers having the desire on their own to do their best and get better, is how they got where they are today.”

The Mountaineers had to beat the clock in order to get their bid to nationals. To compete the relay teams and the individual competitors had to meet time standards at sanctioned events throughout the season.

The women's relay team will be assisted by family power as three of the four members are sisters all attending Berea college and swimming together on the team. The Ellard's will be accompanied in their efforts by sophomore Kaylee Kirby. Senior Britin Ellard will be preforming the triple threat as she competes in the 100 breast, 200 breast and the 200 individual medley. First year Tierah will be following in her big sister's footsteps, competing in the 50 free, 200 free and 200 back stroke. Clarin Ellard will swim the 50 back stroke.

In addition to the women’s swim team, two divers will represent Berea College; Elyse Budkie and Abigail Cohen. Cohen, a junior who is a returning diver, acknowledged, “It is exciting to see more competition from division two at Nationals. I have improved my diving techniques since I first started here at Berea."

What is impressive about the women’s swim team is that in the past two years, they have broken the majority of the school records. The current team has shattered the relay record for Berea. This year, Tierah Ellard broke the 200 yard backstroke record, standing since 1985 with the time of 2:19:22. Britin Ellard broke the 400 individual medley record which was standing since 1987, with the time of 4:57.

The men's relay team has been rocketing all season. The members include the experienced and those just getting their sea legs, yet the team has made it to the national stage. It is clear that they are driven by heart and determination. The relay team is made up of Lamar Richardson, Marek Counts, Noah McGraw and Adam Lewis. First year Lamar Richardson shined bright this season, qualifying for the individual 50 free style stroke.

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