FORT MILL — Swimmer Brandon Sweezer is used to making history for Nation Ford. He added his most prolific accomplishment yet to his resume Thursday by committing to swim at Cornell University, becoming the first Ivy League athlete from Nation Ford in the process.
The son of Bobette and the late Bill Sweezer, Brandon has been swimming competitively since he was 8 and was drawing interest from other Ivy League schools like 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 other schools sought after him.
“He has worked very hard for a long time,” she said. “This is a huge accomplishment.”
Sweezer said he chose Cornell because of his major, 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 1000, as well as the mile. He normally practices over 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 currently holds the state record in the mile for 15-16-year-olds.
On a national level, Sweezer has swam at YMCA Nationals since age 12 and has competed at the USA Swimming and Speedo Junior Nationals in both the 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.
Sweezer said he would one day like to make the Olympic trial cuts one day, putting him as one of the top 300 swimmers in the country, but isn’t shooting for the Olympics themselves.