Green River’s Lee Signs with Fresno Pacific Swim

Green River’s Lee Signs with Fresno Pacific Swim

GRHS swimmer Lauren Lee signed her national letter of intent Wednesday to swim for Fresno Pacific. SweetwaterNOW photo by Olivia Kennah

GREEN RIVER — Green River High School senior Lauren Lee signed her national letter of intent Wednesday to swim for Fresno Pacific University following her high school graduation.

Lee already has seven years of competitive swimming experience and was a crucial member of the 2020 3A state championship team. She is excited to continue her swimming career at the collegiate level in Fresno, California.

Though a good swimming program was important when picking a school to attend, academics were her primary focus when talking with colleges.

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“I talked to a lot of colleges with really great education programs and that’s how Fresno Pacific popped up originally. They have an amazing education system, but they also have an amazing swim program that I’m really excited to join,” Lee said.

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While attending school, she will be studying marine biology and oceanography in hopes of becoming a professional scuba diver. She pointed out that it may be strange that a girl from Wyoming would be so fascinated by the ocean, but she gives credit to Shark Week for her interest.

“For as long as I can remember I have loved Shark Week, it was the Christmas of my entire year, I ranked it above Christmas,” Lee said. “I would record all of the episodes to watch later in the year. Sharks were my everything, I loved it. And being able to celebrate a shark week every day just sounds amazing.”

Lee is excited to start her studies and she is looking forward to bringing the skills she learned throughout swimming in Green River to Fresno.

“My time in Green River has definitely taught me so, so much about goals and diligence, and just overall how to be a good person and how to be competitive in the pool. I feel like that aura of a team, especially after winning state this year, has definitely implemented a lot of skills in me that I can bring to the table in Fresno.”

Lauren with her parents during her signing.

Her coaches all agree that Lee is a valuable teammate and leader. Club coach Randy Walker said he has been working with Lee since she was a kid through club swimming and she has always shown 100 percent dedication to the sport.

“She’s a very versatile athlete and I remember her in the 12 and under hitting her zone cuts. It’s nice to see what we all believe in, and that is that hard work pays off. I know she’s just going to do a great job for Fresno Pacific and it’s very exciting. I look forward to watching her do even bigger and better things,” Walker said.

GRHS assistant swim coach Sierra Nussbaum added that Lee really stepped up in her junior and senior years to be a leader on the team and to pull through with great scores.

“I had the pleasure of working with Lauren for three years, and it’s been a blessing,” Nussbaum said. “She’s a great leader. She’s very good at the butterfly and very good at middle-long distance. I’m excited for her future at Fresno Pacific.”

Rick Barker, assistant coach at GRHS said on top of working with her at the high school, he also worked with Lee when she was in the middle school program. He said it’s been great watching her grow as a competitor over the years.

“She’s always been someone you can count on and she’s always stepped up to do what needs to be done. It’ll be fun to watch her in her collegiate career. Very proud to be able to say I had a chance to work with her,” Barker said.

Lauren with her parents and coaches.

Lee has achieved a lot in the pool including setting some school records and a 3A All-State honor. She was also a member of the 200-yard medley relay team that took first at state this past year with a time of 1:50.24. Additionally, she was on the 400-yard freestyle relay that took second at state, and she placed fourth in the 100-yard butterfly and fifth in the 500-yard freestyle.

Winning the state championship was her favorite memory throughout her high school swimming career, and she firmly believes that it was a true team effort.

“It was an incredible experience and I couldn’t be more grateful for the group of girls that we had in order to be able to accomplish that. It’s not just one person or one relay, you have to have all of these people earning so many points to be able to take a state title,” she said. “We are incredibly blessed to have had the group of girls this past year to be able to accomplish that.”

Lauren and her family.