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Charles Gaines from Macon, Georgia has committed to swim for the United States Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut beginning next fall.
Gaines attends Academy for Classical Education where he is a senior on the varsity swim team. He has played violin in the ACE orchestra since middle school. At the 2021 GHSA 1-3A State Swimming & Diving Meet, he placed 4th in the 100 fly going 51.03, .76 faster than he had been in his 4th-place finish last year.
Since the start of his senior year, he has updated just about all his SCY best times. The time-drop spree began in July at the Georgia Viral Summer Invite with the 50 free, 100 breast, and 200 IM. In October he competed at Duel in the Pool and bettered his PBs in the 100/500 free, 100 fly, and 400 IM. In 2021 he has updated his times in the 200 free, 100 back, 50/200 fly, and 100 IM. He achieved the back and fly times at the Georgia Swimming Short Course Senior State Championships.
Gaines does his club swimming with Swim Macon Aquatic Club.
Best SCY Times:
- 100 fly – 50.64
- 200 fly – 1:59.54
- 100 breast – 59.17
- 50 free – 22.11
- 100 free – 48.22
- 200 free – 1:45.74
- 200 IM – 1:59.53
- 400 IM – 4:18.22
- 100 back – 56.11
It has been a particularly difficult 15 months in the NCAAs Division III, with both national championships being canceled and many conferences canceling their seasons. The NEWMAC announced in November 2020 that its presidents had unanimously decided to suspend conference play and championships for winter sports (men’s and women’s basketball and men’s and women’s swimming and diving). Coast Guard had just one meet this season but they made the most of it, winning all 19 events to beat Wheaton 279-61.
Gaines will be an asset to the Bears in a number of events. He will overlap with butterflyers Derek Ledford and Connor Shenk and freestylers Tyler Bland, Jake Kim, Ledford, and Colby Loveless.
Gaines recently signed his commitment in a ceremony attended by the student body and the press. 41NBC/WMGT reported that, “Aside from receiving a full-ride, he is also the first African-American to commit to a college in the sport of swimming, in all of Middle Georgia.”
WGXA News added, “He plans to study business in college and after graduation says he wants to give back to the black communities in Macon and Unionville.”
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