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On Friday (May 18), Smith signed a letter of intent to swim (and possibly dive) at the collegiate level for the Radford University Highlanders.

Amazingly, Smith has been involved in competitive swimming and diving for only three years. Most elite high school swimmers have been competing in high level competitive swim events since they were six.  Yvonne’s father, Keith Smith, said that Yvonne was involved in a different highly competitive sport from age six to age fourteen. She was a gymnast on the Camp Friendship elite competitive squad. Unfortunately, she suffered a badly broken ankle that ended her gymnastics career. Yvonne promptly turned to swimming and diving and showed the same dedication to these sports as she had been devoting to gymnastics. Her mother Yonna also attended the signing.

Yvonne said that she is anxious see a little bit more of the world than Fluvanna County when she heads of to college. She expects to swim in 50 meter freestyle, her specialty, and on the 4X50 relay team for Radford. She also hopes to be able to compete in the 100 freestyle and the 100 backstroke. Smith said that Radford would like her to dive as well, but she is not sure about competing in both swim and dive. As she advises, that would be very unusual at the college level. So, for the time being at least, she expects to concentrate on swimming.

Photo by Yasmine Smith: Mother Yonna Smith looks on as her daughter Yvonne signs a letter of intent to swim and Radford University.