Bennett to swim at Catawba

Published 9:17 pm Thursday, May 17, 2018

Nansemond River High School senior Clay Bennett signed a National Letter of Intent to swim at Catawba College.

A Warrior swim standout will be swimming on the NCAA Division I level next season. Bennett signed with Catawba. It all started when the senior went through a Next College Student Athlete profile, which led to him being contacted by multiple schools. He was contacted by an assistant coach at Catawba and eventually went on a visit to the school and loved the school and his team.

Clay Bennett signs his National Letter of Intent to swim for Catawba College surrounded by his parents, Thomas and Jana Bennett, and his coach, Shamus Riley. (submitted photo)

“The thing I liked most about it was the bond between the team,” he said. “They all came from very different backgrounds, and all were very devoted to the sport of swimming.”

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Bennett went on two visits before he verbally committed there. He had offers from other schools but decided to turn them down.

The NRHS senior didn’t really start to get serious about swimming until he was in the ninth grade. He knew as his love grew for the sport that he’d eventually want to swim in college. His parents were very supportive of him throughout the recruiting process.

His senior season didn’t go quite the way he wanted it to, but he was able to help Nansemond River have its best season as a boys’ swim team. He also earned a trip to the Class 5 state swim meet. Over the course of his four-year career, he was on two relay teams that set school records in the 200 medley and the 200 free.

Also, he earned the coach’s award as a freshman and earned the team captain position as a senior. Overall, he feels adjusting to swimming at the next level will be a good challenge for him.

“I just want to get a good base and hopefully get there and get my times down,” he said.

Bennett plans to major in environmental sustainability.