Campbell feels at home with IWU choice
In December, North Montgomery senior Sidney Campbell was named the Lilly Endowment Community Scholar for Montgomery County.
Knowing her college academics would need to come at a Indiana college or university, it just came down to finding a school she felt at home at and could continue her swimming career.
Last week Campbell announced her commitment both academically and athletically to Indiana Wesleyan University, where she will swim and study nursing.
After qualifying for the IHSAA Girls Swimming State Finals in both the 50 and 100 freestyle as a sophomore, Campbell came up short in the sectional in both events her junior season. Couple that defeat with a long hiatus from the pool due to COVID-19, she realized swimming must be a part of her college plans.
“The start of my senior year I knew I wanted to swim in college,” Campbell said. “I was kind of unsure about it my junior year, just kind of how my season ended. I was kind of on the fence about if I wanted to continue to swim or not, but toward the start of my senior year and after not being able to swim for such a long time, I kind of realized that people only get so many opportunities to be able to compete and do a sport that they love when they’re young enough, so if I have the capability and opportunity to do that, I knew I wanted to capitalize on that.”
Campbell, who’s name can be found throughout the North Montgomery girls soccer and swimming record books, said playing soccer in college crossed her mind, but swimming has always been the focal point for her athletics.
“It did cross my mind, but I’ve always felt that swimming was my more dominate sport and then once I started to swim club that kind of confirmed it,” she said. “And I absolutely love soccer and I was never going to quit soccer to swim, but as high school progressed I definitely confirmed that I liked swimming a lot more and thought I could be more successful swimming as well.”
Campbell and her Charger teammates showed out during her senior season. She bounced back by winning the sectional in the 100 freestyle with a time of 53.56 seconds and joined teammates on a pair of state qualifying relay teams in the 200 and 400 freestyle.
“My junior season not being the ending that we were looking for as far as sectional goes,” Campbell said of a lesson she learned during her high school swim career. “I think that being in coach Yeager’s program, she just really hammers on the idea that every race is new and you’ll have new opportunities to compete and to not let past shortcomings define what you do in the future and I think that’s a huge thing in swimming to be able to overcome lost races, but I also think in life it’s a really big thing is to be able to overcome things and kind of push back from failure, and I think coach Yeager and swimming at North has taught me that and I will continue to use that in college and for the rest of my life.”
Campbell’s aunt, Stephanie Strickland, who also studied nursing at Indiana Wesleyan planted an early seed, but the choice became more clear when she walked onto campus.
“I knew I wanted to go to a Christian school where faith was going to be a huge aspect for that,” Campbell said. “It’s one of those things where people say that you’ll know as soon as you step on campus, you’ll feel like home, ‘I was like yeah that doesn’t really happen,’ but as soon as I was at Indiana Wesleyan I knew. The people here are incredible, the team is amazing and coach Emily Vermilya is just so encouraging and positive and I’ve already begun to develop a relationship with her.”