Born in Vancouver, Canada Sam Corea is a versatile sprinter that graduated from the University of Denver. Born on October 16, 1993 Corea swam club and attended school at the Magee Secondary School in Canada before attending the University of Denver, where she studied English. In her senior year at Denver Corea finished 2nd in the 100-yard fly and 3rd in the 200-yard back, becoming an NCAA All-American and destroying Denver’s event records.
High school career
Coming out of high school at Magee Secondary, Corea had swam for the same club team for the past eight years, where she was the 2010 recipient of the Victor Davis Award and the UBC Dolphins 2010 International Recognition Award. She says she chose Denver because of its small class sizes, campus and the team atmosphere.
As a freshman it was the beginning of a legacy for Corea. She was named DU’s MVP, DU’s Most Valuable Freshman and Pioneer Sportswoman of the Year after leading the Pioneers to a conference title. She broke the school record in the 100-yard fly, and tied both the school and SBC conference record in the 100-yard back. Her versatility in nearly every event was portrayed in her relay events — Corea was also a member of the gold medal winning 400 free relay, silver medal winning 200 medley relay and bronze medal winning 400 medley relay teams.
She quickly moved from a conference swimmer to an NCAA qualifier during her sophomore season. Corea pulled off a 3-peat by winning the 100-yard fly, 100-yard back and the 200-yard back at the WAC Championships. Not only did she qualify for the NCAA Championships in all three of those events, but she also set DU records in them. Her efforts earned her WAC Swimmer of the Year.
By her junior year Corea had made a big jump from NCAA qualifier to NCAA All-American. At the 2014 NCAA Championships Corea’s first event was the 100-yard fly. After having a great preliminary swim, she advanced to the consolation final of the 100 fly. In the consolation final, Corea took the first 50 yards out nearly as fast as anyone else in the event. She held her pace in the last 50 yards, and finished 1st in the 100 fly touching out the 10th place overall finisher by just .10 seconds. On the same day she also had the 100-yard back, which she just missed out on advancing to the semi-finals. Corea finished 17th overall after the preliminary heats, and finished as first alternate.
Although she didn’t final in the 100-yard back, Corea came back on day three of the NCAA meet ready to take on the 200-yard back. Corea went nearly a best time in prelims, and finished 7th overall making her first championship final of the NCAA Championships. She didn’t better her time from prelims, but it was enough to finish 7th overall and become a three-time NCAA All-American.
Corea came back for her senior year with her best collegiate season under belt. She was named MVP of the Summit League Championships, Summit League Female Swimmer of the Year and qualified for the 2015 NCAA Championships in the 100-yard back, 200-yard back and the 100-yard fly.
On day two of the meet, Corea had the 100 fly and the 100 back nearly back-to-back. She qualified 3rd overall in the 100 fly, and to focus on the final, she scratched the preliminary swim of the 100-yard back. In the championship final Corea was the third-fastest swimmer out at the 50-yard mark, about half of a second behind the new American Record holder, Kelsi Worrell. Her back-half was strong enough to pull her into 2nd, and she touched the wall for silver just .04 seconds in front of 3rd.
On the last day Corea only had the 200-yard back to focus on. She dropped more than two seconds in prelims from her seed time, and qualified 3rd going into the championship final. That night Corea had an amazing back-half in the 200 back to win herself a bronze medal, and add to her All-American accolades. After an outstanding senior season Corea earned a $7,500 NCAA Postgraduate scholarship.
Just a week after the 2015 NCAA Championships Corea swam at the Canadian National Championships. Focusing on the sprint fly, Corea was able to effectively hold her taper and win the Canadian Nationals in the 50 LCM fly. Her finish got her a spot on the 2015 World University Games roster that were going to be held in South Korea.