Emily O’Neil Signs with LaGrange as 1st-Ever Recruited Swimmer from Club, High School

Emily O’Neil, a senior at Chalmette High School in Chalmette, Louisiana, has signed to swim for LaGrange College in the fall; she plans to major in Animation.

“From the first time I stepped onto campus, LaGrange felt like home. I have already made some amazing friends and I could not imagine going anywhere else. The Animation program at LaGrange is exactly what I am looking for as well. I cannot wait to be a Panther in the Fall!”

O’Neil hails from Meraux, Louisiana. She was a three-time letterman for the Chalmette High swim team under coach Millie Soroe and holds the school record in the 200 IM. She also becomes the first Owl swimmer in school history to sign to swim in college. She swims year-round for the St. Bernard Swim Club Bluefins, where she is a multiple-year state qualifier in the 100 breast and 200 breast under head coach Adam Battaglia.

LaGrange, located in LaGrange, Georgia, is a member of the Sun Coast Swimming Conference (Division III). O’Neil’s best times would have scored in the B finals of the 100/200 breast and 200 IM at 2018 Sun Coast Conference Championships.

Top times:

  • 100 breast – 1:21.99
  • 200 breast – 2:58.51
  • 200 IM – 2:47.21
  • 50 free – 31.71

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Jim Nickell



Wow, you are a coach? That’s disturbing.


I am all for giving kids recognition, but this article seems to be stretching it a bit.


Actually, I think this article is great because it shows that there are so many Division 2 and 3 schools where kids can swim. The athlete can get the experience of collegiate swimming without having to be a Sectional level swimmer (or better).

Swim chick

I agree!! This is a great point, and I think many people don’t realize this. Love it:)


Thanks for the comment SWIMMEROH and thanks for teaching people that there are schools out there that need dedicated swimmers. Not everyone is nationally ranked.


What exactly is the article stretching genius? This happens to be my daughter and while she is not Katie Ledecky she worked just as hard as every other kid signing D3 or D2/D1 for that matter.



About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swim/swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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