FORT MILL — Nation Ford swimmer Brandon Sweezer is used to making history for the school. He has added his most prolific accomplishment yet, to become the first Ivy League athlete from the school.
Sweezer has committed to swim at Cornell University and becomes the first athlete at the school to sign a commitment with an Ivy League school.
Sweezer, the son of Bobette Sweezer and the late Bill Sweezer, has been swimming competitively since he was 8 years old.
He was attracting interest from other Ivy League schools, such as Columbia, Princeton and Harvard, as well as Manhattan College, Indiana University and Duke University.
Nation Ford swim coach Meredith Yocum said she isn’t surprised at how many schools sought him.
“He has worked very hard for a long time,” she said. “This is a huge accomplishment.”
Sweezer said he choose Cornell because of his major. He plans to major in engineering, with an emphasis in computer science.
“The academic opportunities were what I was looking for,” he said. “They are the best engineering school in the Ivy League.”
Sweezer will be swimming distances races for Cornell like the 500 and 1,000, as well as the mile. He normally practices more than two hours a day, six days a week.
Sweezer has been a part of the Nation Ford swim team for the past six years, and has qualified for the state finals in each of those years. He also won the 200 and 500 freestyle state championship as a sophomore for the Falcons.
He has swam on the USA swimming club the past nine years and currently swims for the Upper Palmetto YMCA Rays. He holds the state record in the mile for 15- and 16-year-olds.
On a national level, Sweezer has swum at YMCA Nationals since age 12 and at the USA Swimming and Speedo Junior Nationals in both winter and summer.
He has placed in the top 10 in the country in his age group in distance events from 2009 to 2012 for USA swimming.
Although he enjoys swimming, like any other athlete, Sweezer has used his talents in the pool to help get him to college.
“A big part of it is I’m good enough at it and it gives me the opportunities like going to college,” he said.
Despite all his talent, Sweezer said he would one day like to make the Olympic trial cuts, placing him as one of the top 300 swimmers in the country, but he isn’t shooting for the Olympics themselves.