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Gamecocks sign Pettit

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Bruins star swimmer is set for USC

By Robert Howey

 

   

The University of South Carolina Natatorium, home of the S.C. High School League state championship swim meet, has become quite familiar to Lancaster High School senior star swimmer Jory Pettit.

He will likely become much more familiar with the Gamecocks’ swimming facility over the next four years.

Pettit is headed to USC to swim for the Gamecocks after signing with the Southeastern Conference school on Wednesday, May 22 in the LHS conference room.

Pettit said he’s excited about the opportunity.

“I’m looking forward to being on a higher level of swimming and being a part of that team,” Pettit said. “South Carolina has a really good program and their swimmers seem to enjoy being part of that program. I like their level of enthusiasm.”

Pettit, a six-year letterman with the LHS swim team, was a four-time Bruins’ swimming MVP during his career which began as a seventh-grader.

He is a four-time all-region swimmer and holds the LHS school record for the 50 freestyle, 20.89, and 100 freestyle, 46.50, which he set during the 2012 Class AAAA state swim meet at USC where Pettit won state runner-up silver medals in each event last fall.

Pettit, in his junior season, won the Class AAAA 50-meter freestyle state crown in 21.47 and captured the silver medal  in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 47.57.

“We’re going to miss what he contributed to our Lancaster High School swim program as a competitor and a leader,” Bruins’ assistant coach David Taylor said. “He’s quite a talent because I recall as a seventh grader that he was beating high school seniors.

“Jory has natural talent, but he has also put in the work and dedication to be an outstanding swimmer,” Taylor said. “Jory has also been a quiet, but effective leader for our team.”

Pettit is also a strong student with a 4.546 grade point average and ranks in the top four percent of the LHS class of 2013.

“We knew at a young age, Jory had the potential to take his swimming to a higher level,” said LHS assistant swim coach Midenna Anderson, who also doubled as his recreation swim team coach with the Lancaster swim team. “He’s taken the guidance of his parents and coaches and used his work ethic to produce an outstanding high school swim career.”

Taylor said he expects Pettit, a stroke instructor with the Carolina Waves competitive swim program at the University of South Carolina Lancaster’s Gregory Health and Wellness Center pool, to continue his success in college.

“The 50-meter record at South Carolina is 19.53, which has stood for a while, but I feel with Jory’s talent, drive and work ethic, that mark is in his progression,” Taylor said. “It will be fun following his career.”

“I’m excited about seeing Jory compete at the next level,” said Anne H. Small, USCL Aquatics Director. “He’s blessed with God-given talent and he’s used it to take it to the next level. There was no doubt that Jory, at a young age, had what it took to make this day possible.”