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Nianna Thomas has elected to stay in-state by committing to Niagara University in upstate New York, located just outside the city of Buffalo. Thomas hails from Brooklyn, NY, where she attends Grover Cleveland High School. She does her club swimming for the highly-regarded Long Island Swim Club, which earned the Gold Medal standing in the USA Swimming Club Excellence Rankings for 2021.
Her most recent meet representing Grover Cleveland was at the 2019 Public School Athletic League (PSAL) Championships in early November, where she made the A-final in both of her individual events, placing 4th in the 50 free (25.16) and 100 free (54.08).
Thomas recently hit a best time in the 100 free at a Long Island-hosted meet in December of 2020. There, she dropped two tenths from her previous best, which came from just the month prior. She also swam personal bests in the 200 back and 100 fly, slicing two seconds off her previous bests in both events.
Top Times SCY:
- 50 Free- 24.51
- 100 Free- 53.31
- 200 Free- 1:58.62
- 500 Free- 5:32.02
Niagara University is a Division 1 school competing in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.
As of the 19-20 season, Niagara had a very upperclassmen-heavy sprint group, with the top four times in the 50 and 100 free all coming from swimmers who were set to graduate in either spring of 2020 or 2021. Upon her arrival on campus, Thomas will be one of Niagara’s top sprinters with times that match those of that sprint group in both the 50 and the 100.
Her sprinting abilities project her to score in the B-finals for both events at the conference level. At the 2020 edition of the MAAC Championships, she would have finished 13th and 14th in the 50 and 100, respectively, with lots of room to move up. Just four swimmers out of the top 16 in the 50 were expected to return for the 2021 meet. In the 100, it’s a similar story, with only three swimmers out of 16 expected to return.
Thomas will also be a key relay piece for Niagara in the free relays. While it took around a 24-low to make Niagara’s A relay at their conference championships, all four of those legs are expected to have graduated by the time Thomas arrives, making her a primary candidate for a relay spot. She’s also in contention for a spot on the 400 free relay, which had an upperclassmen-heavy lineup as well.
The 2021 edition of MAACs has been canceled as of early February.
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