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Rachel Strickland, an incoming college sophomore from Clayton, North Carolina, has committed to swim for Division I Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. Strickland is transferring from East Carolina University after its swim team was cut this year. Strickland will officially join the Flames in fall 2020 with 3 years of eligibility remaining.
Before joining the ECU Pirates, Strickland swam for the Marlins of Raleigh along with swimming for her high school team at Corinth Holders. The 2018 USA Swimming Scholastic All-American placed 7th in the 200 backstroke (2:03.17) at the 2019 Speedo Champions Series – Greensboro. She also placed 6th in the 100 backstroke at the NCHSAA 4A State Championships.
In addition, Strickland is a Junior National qualifier and three-time Futures qualifier.
During her time at ECU, Strickland specialized in the backstroke events. She had five top three finishes during the Pirate’s dual meet season.
“I am excited to announce my verbal commitment to swim and continue my studies at Liberty University. Losing my team at ECU was devastating but I knew I wanted to continue my swimming career. After talking with Coach Jake Shellenberger about the program and all of the opportunities Liberty provides both in and out of the pool, I knew it was a perfect fit. I am thankful for all my teammates and coaches at ECU for such an incredible freshman year. I will miss everyone and all the memories made but I am excited for what is ahead at LU!”
At the 2020 CCSA Championships with the Liberty Flames, Strickland would have had multiple finals performances with her current best times. She would have placed 5th in both the 100 (55.95) and 200 backstrokes (2:00.25) and 7th in the 200 butterfly (2:05.34).
With these times, Strickland would have been Liberty’s 2nd fastest swimmer in the 200 butterfly behind junior Lindsey Cohee, who placed 1st with a time of 1:59.21. She also would have been the 3rd fastest in the 100 backstroke and 4th fastest in the 200 backstroke at CCSA.
Top SCY Times
- 100 backstroke – 55.95
- 200 backstroke – 2:00.25
- 100 butterfly – 56.92
- 200 butterfly – 2:05.34
At the CCSA Championships this year, the Liberty Flames were the conference victors for the second year in a row—over 100 points ahead of the 2nd place team. Under coaches Jake Shellenberger and Jessica Barnes, the team had 4 swimmers named to the CSCAA Individual Scholar All-American team. The whole team was named to the CSCAA Scholar All-American team, with the team’s average GPA being 3.76.
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