Penn State All-American Sean Grier has left swimming; while he is still listed on Penn State’s official roster, on December 9th, Grier posted the following status publicly on his Facebook page:
I’m sad to say that unfortunate circumstances have led me to the difficult decision to hang up my swim suit. It is unplanned and much earlier than expected but I have decided that this is what’s best for me. It’s time for me to shift my focus to a different path in life. Swimming has taught me so much and I’m thankful for all the things I’ve gotten to experience over the years. I want to thank everyone who has been there and believed in me along the way. I’ve accomplished a lot and I wouldn’t have gotten as far as I have without the support of family and friends. I hope there will be as much support behind my next journey, whatever that may be.
The post was on his Facebook page two days after Penn State finished competition at the Texas Hall of Fame Invite.
On follow-up Thursday evening, Grier said “I would not take back anything that’s happened in my career. The sport of swimming and the people in it have been incredible and I would not change any of it. I have the utmost confidence in my friends and teammates and wish them the best of luck.”
Grier is in his senior year in Happy Valley, and was the butterflier on both of Penn State’s top-8, All-American medley relays last season. He earned at least one All-American honor, either first-team or Honorable Mention, in each of his three championship seasons at Penn State, all of which came in relays.
He ended the 2013-2014 with top-10-in-the-country times in both the 100 backstroke (45.71) and 100 fly (46.00), and wound up as the school record holder, by quite a wide margin, in both races.
He ranked in the top 50 in the country early in his senior year in the 100 fly with a 47.51; his loss will hurt the Nittany Lions’ chance at a top 20 finish at NCAA’s, though not completely abolish them after taking 20th place last year. Penn State gets Shane Ryan, who missed the end of his freshman season last year, back this season, and he now becomes Penn State’s top 100 flier on the year, having been just behind Grier at the Texas Hall of Fame Invite in 47.56.