Fresh off her state championship in the 100-yard butterfly, Samantha Hedrick made another type of stroke Wednesday — the stroke of a pen on paper for the next chapter of her swimming career.
Hedrick, a senior from Pella swimming for the Newton/Colfax-Mingo/Pella Aquagirls’ swim team, signed her national letter of intent to swim for the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, Neb. Hedrick’s decision was celebrated by her parents and her NCMP coaches and teammates in a ceremony at Newton High School.
“I’m excited to have this opportunity. Nebraska not only has a strong swimming tradition, but they really make sure you are reaching your goals in academics as well as athletics,” Hedrick said. “When I went on my official visit to Nebraska, it offered what I wanted in an athletic program and in a school.”
Hedrick leaves her name written on the NCMP school-record board. Winning the 2015 state championship in the butterfly Saturday at Marshalltown, she became only the second state champion in NCMP history.
At the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union’s 2015 State Diving and Swimming Championships, Hedrick set four school records — winning the butterfly race in 55.01 seconds, taking second in the 200-yard freestyle race in 1 minute, 51.60 seconds, leading off the NCMP 200 freestyle relay with a 24.09-second 50 and leading off the NCMP 400 freestyle really with a record 100-yard time of 52.07 seconds.
Hedrick admitted she had looked at the NCMP record board on the Newton YMCA wall, and setting the goal of having her name up there on as many of the events as she could. NCMP has two sets of school records — meters for races at home and yards for racing at other pools.
Hedrick finished her four-year career as an Aquagirl holding nine, not seven as previously reported, individual records and is a member of six relay team records. Her other individual records are: 200-meter freestyle-2:09.24, 50-meter freestyle-27.54 seconds, 100-meter butterfly-1:04:15, 100-meter freestyle-59.59 seconds and the 400-meter freestyle-4:35.45.
She is a member of the 200-yard medley relay (1:50.30), the 200-meter medley relay (2:06.82), the 200-yard freestyle relay (1:39.08), 200-meter freestyle relay (1:53.44), the 400-yard freestyle relay (3:38.65) and the 400-meter freestyle relay (4:10.70).
“I didn’t know if I wanted to continue my swimming career until my freshman year here at Newton,” Hedrick said. “I’ve been swimming since I was 4. When I started competing at the high school level, I knew I wanted to go to college and swim for a Division I program. As a junior and senior, I realized I could do it and set my goals to accomplish just that.”
Hedrick concluded her senior season qualifying for four events in her fourth consecutive state meet. She added two state medals to her two she had in the butterfly for a sixth-place finish as a sophomore and runner-up as a junior.
Hedrick helped NCMP win four consecutive North Central Iowa Conference swim championships. She was the 2015 NCIC 50 freestyle and 500 freestyle individual champion and was the 2014 conference champion in the 100 freestyle.
Hedrick said she made unofficial visits to a lot of schools with her mother. She said she looked at programs “down south because I thought I wanted to go somewhere warm.”
“The other official visit I went on was to Iowa, which is where I always thought I’d go. Nebraska just blew it out of the water for me. Everything about the campus, the school and the swimming program at Nebraska was what I wanted,” Hedrick said.
“I’m going into it to climb the totem pole again, which is what I wanted in a program. I didn’t want to go into it as the No. 1. I wanted one where I could work myself up to be better, one that would make me push myself. I’m looking to be swimming the butterfly and freestyle at Nebraska.”
Nebraska’s women swimming and diving teams are under head coach Pablo Morales, who is in his 15th season at Nebraska. The Cornhuskers are a NCAA Division I program and compete in the Big Ten Conference. Patrick Rowan is the swimming assistant coach.
Hedrick is a senior at Pella Community High School in Pella. She said she had competed in track, but would not this spring. She swims the year round, competing for the Pella club and recreational teams in USA Swimming events.
“Swimming is also the way I release stress. It is what I love to do,” Hedrick said.
Hedrick is the daughter of Jennie Hedrick-Rozenberg and Tracy Rozenberg and Daniel Adams, all of Pella.
Contact Jocelyn Sheets at 641-792-3121 ext. 6535 or firstname.lastname@example.org