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High F-Ivers: East swimming standout commits to Western State Colorado
When Plano East senior Frances Ivers first set foot on the Western State Colorado campus, it didn't take long for people to realize the swimmer was touring the area.
It's that kind of courteousness that made her feel welcome and, coupled with scenery too enticing to pass up, laid the groundwork for her eventual collegiate commitment.
"I was looking around and was attracted to Western because it was in Colorado," Ivers said. "It's really pretty and when I was there the environment around the college was really friendly and inviting. Everyone knew everyone there. People would come up to me and ask if I was visiting and they'd welcome me."
In the midst of the usual rigorous college research, Western initially extended the olive branch Ivers' way. The school reached out late this summer and, after a few e-mails, an official visit was set up within the first couple weeks of the school year.
"My brother (East alum Jack) goes to school in New Mexico," Ivers said, "so I'm familiar with that mountain-y kind of scenery and have always liked it. When I was there, I had a good feeling and knew that was where I wanted to be."
Ivers said Omaha, Indianapolis and Tampa were among the other schools in the mix.
"It was mostly between Western and Omaha," she said, "but who could pass up the chance to go live in Colorado?"
It'll mark a drastic scene change from Plano, but one Ivers said she's excited for.
She'll do so following a four-year stint with the Lady Panthers' swim squad. First garnering varsity reps as a freshman, Ivers has blossomed into one of East's top distance swimmers. During her junior campaign, Ivers competed in four events at the district meet, including the 200-yard freestyle (2:01.73, 11th place), 500 free (5:23.19, seventh), 200 free relay (1:46.33, sixth) and 400 free relay (3:48.92, seventh).
Ivers' time in the 500 free was 14 seconds faster than her sophomore time at district.
"It's been a pleasure to coach [Ivers]," said Amanda Valentini, East head coach. "It's been fun to see her love for the sport grow as the years have gone on. She's gotten better and she decided she wanted to do this in college, so that's really neat."
Ivers now looks to translate her skill set to the collegiate level.
"I just hope it's going to be competitive," she said, "and that I can get some wins and have a fun time."
"It'll be a good transition for [Ivers]," Valentini added. "She's going to go somewhere where she'll be at the top end of the program, as she is here."
Ivers is looking to major in business, though that is not definite. In the meantime, she'll close the book on her career with the Lady Panthers when the second half of the swim calendar picks up Dec. 5. Tuesday, however, was a chance to reflect and enjoy the crowning achievement of her swimming career thus far.
"When I was a freshman, I never thought I'd be fast enough to get into a Division II school," Ivers said. "I'm just really excited and proud of myself for working so hard over these years."
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