VERSAILLES – Versailles senior Lexi Fliehman signed her letter of intent Friday morning to swim at Miami University where she hopes to continue improving and qualify for USA Swimming’s Olympic trials.
Fliehman, the daughter of Travis and Kelly Fliehman, said it was very exciting to sign her letter of intent.
“It’s amazing,” she said. “It’s definitely a relief at this point. But I’m really excited about my next four years at college.”
Fliehman will study early childhood education in Oxford. Miami is the perfect place for her, she said, and she knew it immediately.
“I knew the second I walked on to the campus that this was my second home,” the Versailles senior said. “And once I stayed with the girls overnight, the swim team, I just knew that they were just a great group of girls and that I would fit in perfectly there and that is definitely the place I want to be.”
Fliehman has been a standout for Versailles throughout her high school career and holds many records for Versailles and various invitationals. She also has qualified for the Ohio High School Athletic Association state meet in each of her first three high school seasons.
“She’s done a great job for us,” Versailles swimming coach Penny Cromwell said. “She’s been to state three years and hopefully get back this year.”
As a junior Fliehman qualified for state in two individual events and two relay events. She finished fifth in the Division II girls 50-yard freestyle with a time of 24.16 and finished 12th in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 53.77. She also was part of the 11th place 200-yard freestyle relay team and the 15th place 200-yard medley relay team.
“I think it’s her attitude and her determination to work hard,” Cromwell said about what makes Fliehman such a strong swimmer. “She swims year-round. She swims through the Y program and then also high school.”
Fliehman anticipates remaining a freestyle sprinter at Miami just as she has been for Versailles and the Auglaize Mercer YMCA Waves. She’s ready for the tougher competition at the college level, she said.
“I’ve been working for this for about six years now,” she said. “So I’m building myself up to the college level, and I think I’m ready for that.”
Fliehman hopes to qualify for the Olympic trials, which is the biggest swimming event in the country and is used to determine which swimmers represent Team USA at the Olympics. She thinks Miami will help her continue to improve and get to that level.
“My ultimate goal is to get to the Olympic trials,” Fliehman said. “That’s what my goal has been for four years now, and I believe that I have gained so much potential that I can definitely accomplish that at Miami.”
But before she goes to Miami, Fliehman has one more year of swimming at Versailles, and Cromwell expects her to have another big season.
“Hoping to get first place this year at state,” Cromwell said. “Real excited she’s going to Miami. It’s a great school, and I think it will be a great fit for Lexi.”
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.