Bulldog swimmer proves he’s of college caliberPublished 10:00pm Tuesday, April 22, 2014
King’s Fork High School senior swimmer Hunter Lowe was told he was not good enough to be advertised to certain colleges.
Lowe used this as motivation, and with hard work, he ended up drawing interest from quite a few different institutions. He ultimately committed to West Virginia Wesleyan College, formalizing the arrangement on Monday during a signing ceremony at King’s Fork High School before family, friends and coaches.
“It’s very relieving,” Lowe said.
In 2013, he was trying to become involved with a recruiting company that would have promoted him to different colleges.
After some initial contact with the company, Lowe said one of its representatives “called me again and he said that we’re not going to represent you. ‘You’re not fast enough,’ or something close to that.”
“But then I decided, ‘Well, I’m just going to go up on my own,’” Lowe said. “I started contacting coaches. I contacted probably about 20 schools.”
He ended up having many schools interested in him both as a student and as a swimmer, including Old Dominion University, James Madison University, Alderson Broaddus University, Notre Dame College of Ohio and Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
“From the schools that contacted me back, it came down to what their academics were like and what type of majors they have,” he said.
He came to West Virginia Wesleyan looking for what they could offer in the way of engineering and physics.
“It turns out that I’m probably going to go for applied physics and engineering there,” he said. “This weekend, I’m going up there to figure out if I can do the dual major, but it will probably be applied physics first.”
King’s Fork activities director Randy Jessee said he is happy Lowe had made it to the next level of swimming but also praised his challenging choice of major.
“To me that’s as impressive as going to swim,” he said.
King’s Fork swim head coach Dan Krewson relished the opportunity to see his first swimmer ever sign. He praised Lowe at the ceremony and gave him some words of wisdom.
“If you love what you do, and you do what you love, you will always be successful,” he said.
Lowe said he has been swimming since he was about 6 or 7. He spent some time away from it before returning in 10th grade. His senior year is when he arrived at a collegiate goal.
He said he thought, “Well, I guess I love the sport, so I might as well continue in it, going to the next level.”
“I knew I was always good at swimming — well, decent — but I didn’t think I could make it to states or anything like that,” he said, noting this was especially true after the discouraging words from the recruiting company representative.
But his pleased mother, Elizabeth Lowe said, “He did what he needed to do to show (the rep).”
Lowe did make it to states this year, qualifying in the 50-yard freestyle.
At King’s Fork this past season, 10 out of the 12 boys’ school records were broken, and Hunter Lowe had a hand in six of them, four individual and two relay. He is already less than a second behind the West Virginia Wesleyan school record in the 50 free, aiming to break it as a freshman.
His West Virginia Wesleyan academic scholarship is for $14,000 per year, and the swimming scholarship is $7,000 per year, adjustable based on his performance. After seeing Lowe swim during a college visit, the coach increased the latter amount from an initial offer of $4,000.