BIDWELL, Ohio — Garrett Young decided to dive into high school swimming.
Now, he plans to make his next splash at Malone University.
That’s because Young, a senior at River Valley High School, officially announced on Tuesday his intention to swim collegiately for the NCAA Division II Pioneers.
Young’s announcement took place in the River Valley High School Media Center, as he was flanked by his parents Ryan and Michelle Young, River Valley High School swim coaches Robin Schlater and Kyle Rhodes, River Valley High School Athletic Director Rich Stephens and River Valley High School Principal T.R. Edwards.
“I’m very excited about the opportunity in front of me at Malone,” said Young. “Malone reached out to me and it was very powerful in helping me make a decision.”
While Young has swam his entire life through club swimming, his interest in the sport spiked as a swimmer for the Raiders.
“In high school, I got interested in swimming in college, and so we started looking at all of these college swim programs and started reaching out to them,” he said.
Young said he was especially interested in the University of Indianapolis, but that school didn’t desire him quite like Malone did.
Young said at last weekend’s district meet, Malone swimming and diving head coach Russ Hunt made a surprise visit to watch him compete.
“That meant a lot to me,” said Young.
Young swam for four years at River Valley, and qualified for the district meet his final two seasons as a member of the Raiders’ medley relay team.
In fact, that Raiders’ relay team which also included Nick Young, Ethan Cline, George Rickett and Bailey Rhodes recorded a new school record at the district meet.
Individually, Young qualified for the district meet this year in the 100m breaststroke —after finishing 31st at the sectional meet last season and just narrowly missing.
Schlater has been Young’s head coach the past two seasons at River Valley.
“He (Young) has meant a lot to our program,” she said. “Even last year after the season, he decided to swim all year-round with me. That way, he could get better and he served as the driving force for the team for this year. He was our coaches’ choice for captain, because he showed the drive and the will to want to be at the pool and put in the work. He is a really good kid.”
Young said he practices every single solitary day.
Then again, that is understandable.
“There is a lot of practice and it takes a lot of energy,” he said. “We have practice every day after school for close to two hours. But that’s like all we get pool time for. I’m sure coach would like to have us in the pool a little bit more. Then there is club practice also, and that is one-and-a-half (hours).”
Malone is a private university located in Canton, and its swimming and diving program competes in the Appalachian Swim Conference.
Young, who plans to major in Environmental Studies, said the university has “very good academics” and “very good internship programs.”
“Once you graduate, their job acceptance rate is very high too,” he said.
For Young, it sounds like the perfect place for him to take his next dive and make his next splash.
“He’ll have a lot to build on for next year. But just the amount of extra time he spends in the pool already is going to help him out a lot too,” said Schlater.
Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106