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When Abby Hoshour went on to a visit to Wingate University, she knew she had found the college that met her needs both as an athlete and as a student.
"Their swim program is one of the top 10 in the nation in (NCAA) Division II, and the nursing program is the best fit for me," Hoshour said.
And there you have it. That's why Sumter High School swimmer Hoshour made it official with Wingate last week, signing a letter of intent during a ceremony in the SHS auditorium.
Hoshour said that she had already had an official visit to Lees-McRae and had visits set up for Catawba College and Georgia Southern. When she went to Wingate, the coaching staff pushed the issue with about making a decision.
"They told me I needed to make a decision before I left," said Hoshour, who has been a part of the SHS program since she was in the seventh grade. However, she has no issue with her decision.
"I love it," Hoshour said of getting the opportunity to swim at the collegiate level. "This has been a goal of mine since I was eight years old. It's a relief that I don't have to deal with all the other schools, that I have this out of the way."
Hoshour had a tremendous senior season for the Lady Gamecocks. She won both the 200-yard individual medley and the 100 butterfly in the Region IV-5A state meet. She also teamed with sister Emily Kate Hoshour and cousins Samantha Kirkhart and Hayden Kirkhart to win the 400 freestyle relay and finish second in the 200 free relay.
Hoshour qualified for several individual events in the state meet in which the top 30 swimmers compete, but athletes can only compete in two. She chose to swim the 100 fly and the 100 free. Hoshour finished eighth in the fly in a personal best time of 59.97 seconds.
Cathy Kirkhart is the Sumter head swim coach and Abby's aunt. She said Abby has progressed as a swimmer due to her hard work.
"As she grew into this sport, she has always excelled," Coach Kirkhart said. "She's one of few kids in the seventh grade to make the state meet. You don't see that happen that often."
Abby will be going to a program in Wingate, which is located outside of Charlotte in Wingate, North Carolina, that finished seventh in the NCAA Division II meet this past season. She said she expects to be swimming the 50 and 100 freestyle and the 100 and 200 butterfly for Wingate.
Just as family has influenced her swimming, so too it has influenced her decision to go into the nursing field.
"My mama (Carrie) and my aunt (Cathy) are both nurses. Probably half of my family are nurses," Abby said with a laugh.
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