Swimming with the OWU Attitude

Ohio Wesleyan incoming freshman earns scholarship through community service

Taylor Smith ’14 emerges from the water during the Great Chesapeake Bay Swim, a 4.4-mile race to raise money for charities. Smith completed the event with a time of 1:28.47 and placed second overall out of 611 swimmers. He raised $675 and won a $1,000 scholarship for his efforts. Photo courtesy of Taylor Smith ’14.

Taylor Smith ’14 has the perfect mentality for Ohio Wesleyan University.

Smith, 18, recently participated in the Great Chesapeake Bay Swim (GCBS), a charity swim for the March of Dimes and Chesapeake Bay Trust. Smith raced 4.4 miles in the water to help raise $675 for GCBS charities. Smith’s eagerness to help others fits perfectly into Ohio Wesleyan’s community service culture.

“A lot of training over the years made me confident that I could do it,” Smith says. “It seemed like a good challenge, and I like doing open water swimming. Raising the money was a family affair, everyone helped.”

Smith placed second overall in the swim with the time of 1:28.47, eight minutes faster than his previous year.

“I finished just two seconds behind the winner, the closest finish ever,” Smith says. “There were 611 swimmers who started, but 12 could not finish.”

Though he was second in the race, he was first among college-age fund raisers, earning him a  $1,000 scholarship from the Cynthia Earley Educational Foundation. The organization celebrates student athletes and recognizes personal achievements of young people making their way through school.

Smith will come to OWU from Arnold, Maryland, where he graduated from Broadneck High School in Annapolis. His determination to help others and undertake such a grueling challenge proves he already bleeds red and black.

“College will be a whole new world of possibilities and potential,” Smith says. “I want to continue my swimming career and compete on a new level while I participate with the swim team in community service activities. I would love to qualify for NCAAs and continue to do the GCBS each year.”

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