Keelie Renwick's familiarity with Jamestown will prove invaluable this coming August.
Renwick, a senior for Jamestown High School, officially committed to swim for the inaugural University of Jamestown women's swimming and diving team recently. Renwick wrapped up her final season with the JHS girls swimming and diving team this fall.
"At UJ, whenever we start something new, we like to involve the community," UJ head swimming and diving coach Alex Raasch said. "It was really important to us that we had some local people involved with the team. She currently is the first and only kid from North Dakota to be on the team right now."
Raasch said that Renwick will likely need to adopt a role atypical to that of a freshman student-athlete the first few months of the swim season.
"A lot of our girls are coming in from California and Southwest states and they've never even seen snow before," Raasch said. "To have someone here that is familiar with the town, I think she's going to take on a huge leadership position on to the team and be a mentor to a lot of the other girls."
UJ's first swimming and diving season is scheduled to commence in August. Those who qualify for the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) national championships will compete through March of 2022.
Most recently, Renwick competed at the Western Dakota Association (WDA) swim meet in Bismarck, placing 23rd in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 2 minutes, 25 seconds.
Raasch said Renwick appeared interested in the possibility of swimming in college but did not approach Raasch regarding the opportunity. Raasch said she not only recruited Renwick for her skill in the pool but also for her cooperative and team-focused approach to the sport.
"I'm really excited to be on the team. I'm already really good friends with some of the other girls on the team," Renwick said. "I'm not really sure what my expectations are (but) I am aware of my strengths and weaknesses in swimming. My strength is encouraging others."
As of Nov. 23, Raasch had recruited 15 athletes to compete for the Jimmies. Raasch said she hopes to roster 24 athletes prior to the start of the season.
"I am a little nervous but I know that I'll be able to handle everything once I'm in the moment," Renwick said.
The University of Jamestown women's swimming and diving program will utilize the pool at Jamestown High School for practices and competition.