Barracuda swims into UNC’s pool |

Barracuda swims into UNC’s pool

When Jennifer Betts begins training on the women’s swim team at the University of Northern Colorado, she will be 220 miles away from Glenwood Springs ” but to her the college will be like sitting in the her family’s living room.

“UNC was just the place that felt the most like home,” Betts said of continuing her athletic career in Greeley after looking at a number of colleges. “I hung out with the swim team a little bit and I got along with most of the girls, so I thought it was a really good decision for me to go and swim there.”

Concluding her four-year varsity career at Glenwood High with state appearances in the 50- and 100-meter freestyle, Betts plans on swimming the same events in college.

“That’s what (UNC coach Nancy Hinrichs) has seen of me,” Betts said. “At this point in my career, I’ve been trained as a sprinter.”

But with prior experience swimming in longer distances as a member of the Sopris Barracudas, Betts is prepared to compete wherever a spot opens up.

Hopefully when I start (at UNC) the coach will see that I can also swim the 200, and I can do the distance events if she really needs me to,” Betts explained. “It will be interesting to find out and see what kind of things they’d want me to do.”

While Betts has been on Hinrich’s recruiting radar since her junior year at GSHS, a former high school teammate ” Michelle McReynolds ” helped tip the scale toward UNC.

“The coach had knowledge of me prior to state because Michelle swims for UNC,” said Betts. “I believe Michelle talked to the coach about me, saying Jennifer is a pretty hard worker and she’d be a pretty good add to our team.”

Hinrich’s success at UNC, along with the college’s facilities sealed the deal for Betts.

“I know UNC has a good team and the coach sends a lot of girls to the NCAA (swim championships), and they all improve and get good times,” Betts said of Hinrichs.

“I’ve seen the pool and been in their weight training room. Everything is right there. I haven’t had the opportunity to swim in the pool yet,” she said. “Probably, my first time in the pool will be the first day of practice.”

Leading up to that day in August, Betts will concentrate on training and swimming her final year for the Barracudas.

“I’ll stick to doing the 50 and the 100 every weekend during the club season,” Betts said. “But, I’ll still be swimming in everything for the Barracudas because these guys are my second family and I love being with them.”

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