Oklahoma High School State Champion Cody Lay Signs With U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (2024)

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Cody Lay of Bartlesville, Oklahoma has announced that he has signed with the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy for the 2024-2025 season. Lay, a recent graduate of Bartlesville High School, intends to pursue a degree in Marine Engineering and work towards a career as a Navy Surface Warfare Officer after graduation.

“I visited USMMA campus in Kings Point with my family in March and I just knew it was the right place for me.  They had outstanding coaches, great Midshipmen, professional swim team, wonderful facilities, and surrounded by a beautiful campus right on the water. The lengthy process was over a year long and it took everyone helping me along the way.  I would like to thank Congressman Brecheen, his congressional office, Bartlesville High School, BHS teachers, BHS Counselors, BHS Swim Coach, BHS Swim Team, my family, and everyone else that helped me. It was a tough decision but USMMA offers the best and the most opportunities for me and I can’t wait to attend and serve my country.”

Lay, who trains year-round with Splash Club, Inc., is a Futures qualifier in the 1000 and 1650. The 800m was his highest ranking event at Futures last summer, where he took 20th with a time of 8:52.18. He was also 21st in the 1500m (16:56.36) and 44th in the 400m free (4:16.49).

Lay recently wrapped up this year’s short course season at the Oklahoma Senior Championships in March. He swept the distance freestyle races with 1st place finishes in the  1000 and 1650, hitting season best times of 9:34.17 and 16:07.00, respectively. He was also the runner-up finisher in the 500, where he clocked a 4:38.44 to just miss his personal best of 4:37.11.

Lay also wrapped up his high school career this spring OSSAA 6A State Championship. He secured a silver medal in the 500 (4:37.47), an event that he won in 2023 (4:37.11). He was also 3rd place in the 200 free this year (1:45.88), with his swims helping his team to an overall runner-up team finish.

Top SCY Times

  • 200 free – 1:44.37
  • 500 free – 4:37.11
  • 1000 free – 9:32.30
  • 1650 free – 15:44.10

The Merchant Marine Academy is a Division III program in the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC). This year, the men finished 2nd out of 9 teams at the NJAC Championships with a total of 1377 points. Lay is poised to make an immediate impact at the conference level, as his best times in the 500 and 1650 would have landed him in the top-8 at this year’s meet.

Ryan Lester was the team’s top finisher in the 1650 with a 5th place finish (16:07.81). He also led the way in the 500, going a personal best of 4:32.40 en route to a bronze medal. Lester was a freshman last season and will overlap with Lay for three years.

Lay is joined by Trevor Dash, Owen Mulligan, Troy Liu, Ryan McOsker, Max Fedorenko, Brendan Baser, and John Frank in the Merchant Marines’ incoming class this fall. 

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