When Sulphur High senior Allie Hanson decided to return to swimming her freshman year, she didn’t really know where it would take her and it turned into a chance to swim collegiately. Hanson signed with Division III Centenary College of Louisiana on Friday.
“It is exciting,” Hanson said. “Honestly starting as a freshman, I didn’t know that it was possible.
“When I was young I swam and I played basketball, soccer and softball. I decided to mix it up for high school. It was something new and something different, but starting my junior year colleges started showing interest. It started becoming a reality. I started working hard and really pushing myself and got to this point.”
Hanson may be the first Sulphur High athlete to swim at the college level in more than two decades.
With a 4.2 grade point average and 27 ACT score, Hanson will attend Centenary on an academic scholarship and study chemical engineering.
“I like the small campus aspect,” Hanson said. “The team was very inviting and very warming to me.”
As a senior, Hanson earned LHSAA All-Academic composite honors and all-district first team honors for the third consecutive season. At the 2019 LHSAA Division I state championships, Hanson finished 12th in the 100-yard backstroke (1:05.47), her specialty. She also helped lead Sulphur to an eighth place finish in the 400-yard freestyle relay (3:58.64), 10th in the 200 freestyle relay (1:52.46) and 11th in the 200 medley relay (1:54.97).
“I am going to miss my teammates and coaches,” Hanson said. “My teammates always pushed me to be better.
“My coaches obviously shaped me to be the swimmer that I am.”
Hanson also swims in the distance races and placed third in the 1,650-yard freestyle at the Louisiana Short Course State Championships in February with a time of 20:18.20 and placed 11th in the 500 (5:50.51).