HAHIRA – Valwood swimmer Bethany Glen made a splash Thursday morning.
Glen, an incoming senior from Missouri, signed a letter of intent to swim for Queens University in Charlotte, N.C., making her the first Valwood swimmer to compete at the collegiate level.
"I feel very honored," Glen said. "I know some other swimmers here, but I just feel like it's a huge deal for me that I get to do this and be the first one to do this. ...It's really a reflection of how hard I've worked the last couple of years. I'm really excited to compete in college. I've worked really hard for this, so I'm just really excited."
Prior to her decision, Glen considered offers from Division I schools such as West Virginia and Miami University of Ohio.
However, after visiting Queens – a five-time NCAA Champion program – she knew it was an offer she could not refuse.
"I was talking to West Virginia and Miami University of Ohio – those were like my top schools," Glen said. "I went to go visit Queens and I talked to the coaches and they had everything that I wanted in a swim team – the environment, the goals they wanted to set for their kids, the hard work. It was everything I wanted in a college and I loved the campus. It was amazing."
Glen plans to major in interior design at Queens. "I've always loved art," she said. "I've always loved drawing and then the thought of doing interior design or architecture...I've always wanted to do that."
Before moving on to Queens, Glen will compete for Valwood in her senior season having just arrived in Hahira prior to the fall semester.
Though it has only been three months, Glen is already fitting in great amongst her new teammates and peers.
"We just moved here, so I've only been here for this semester," Glen said. "So far, I've made so many friends already and I love the environment. ... I just feel like I'm already a part of the Valwood family. It's going great right now."
Shane Thomas is the sports editor at the Valdosta Daily Times.