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North swimmer Day commits to Kentucky

Sam Day of North Davidson swims in the boys 50-yard butterfly during the 2013-14 Davidson County Championship swim meet at the Greensboro Aquatic Center on Jan. 3. (Photo by Donnie Roberts/The Dispatch)

Sam Day wanted to swim in college. And he’s been a Kentucky fan all of his life.

The North Davidson senior got the best of both worlds this week, verbally committing to the University of Kentucky. He will sign a National Letter of Intent with the Wildcats in the near future.

His initial plan is to pursue a degree in pre-biosystems engineering, which affected the schools on his radar. “I had been in contact with a couple of schools,” Day explained. “North Carolina State, Georgia Tech, and Purdue, in addition to Kentucky. And a couple of other schools.

“My chances of swimming at some of those places didn’t look likely, because they didn’t have room for me or couldn’t bring me on.”

In the end, that was just fine with Day. His mother, Leann, went to school there, and he has plenty of ties to the Bluegrass State. “I’ve always wanted to go to Kentucky,” he said. “I love the campus, and the school, and the coaches.

“It just seemed like the right fit when I was offered a spot on the team. My mom went to Kentucky, and I’ve basically been raised a Wildcat fan.”

Despite the distance between the Lexington campus and his current home at North, Day won’t be totally isolated from his family. “I have family in the area, and I’ll be close to them now,” he said. “So, it’s been cool to think about having my grandparents closer, and getting to live near them.”

Day started swimming at Arcadia when he was 6, and his coaches there recognized his talent right away. He joined the WSY program soon after (which is now called the YMCA of Northwest North Carolina RipTYDE), and has swum for that program the past 10 years.

He has shown quite a proficiency in every stroke and distance. In last week’s Davidson County championship, he won the 500 free by 50 seconds over the nearest competitor. Day has already posted 4-A regional qualifying times in several events, including the 200 IM, 50 free, 100 free, 200 free, 500 free, 100 back, and 100 breast. Kentucky’s coaching staff indicated they could definitely use his help in the IMs when he arrived on campus. He is looking forward to the challenge of swimming at the next level.

“I’ve talked to a couple of my teammates who have gone on to swim in college,” he said. “From what I’ve hear, swimming becomes a much larger part of your life. And they’ve enjoyed it.

“Academics are what I’m going to college for. But the swimming is a nice extra.”

Jason Queen can be reached at 249-3981, ext. 220, or Follow Jason on Twitter: @LexDispatch_jq