Almost without exception, when a prep athlete picks a college home, they want it to feel like, well, home.
“The camaraderie with the team. I mean I already felt like I was at home when I was there (on my official visit),” Saugus senior swimmer Tanner Olson said Wednesday night after committing to Texas A&M University.
“I came home and I really thought long and hard about it and just had to make sure this is where I wanted to continue my swimming career.”
Olson, who took first place in the boy’s 100-yard breaststroke at the CIF-Southern Section Division 1 finals as a junior and competed in the U.S.
Olympic swimming trials over the summer, took his visit to College Station, Texas, earlier this month and ultimately picked the Aggies over other NCAA Division 1 offers from the University of Arizona and Tennessee.
Tennessee was particularly tempting because fellow Canyons Aquatic Club swimmer Nikol Popov recently signed to swim there.
“They’re in the (South Eastern Conference) also, so I’ll definitely be seeing her next year,” Olson said.
He’ll also see her this spring, either when the schools face off in their Foothill League dual meet or at league finals.
Olson — who only swam against Hart and Valencia last season as he prepped for the Olympic trials — said he will swim at “a couple of home meets” and then at league finals and, hopefully, at Southern Section finals.
Last year, he bested the all-time Foothill League record in the 100 breaststroke during league prelims.
Now he’s ramping up for another run at history.
“Coming back for the second semester of the school year, the team is definitely excited to start the swimming season,” he said. “I know all of them are working pretty hard knowing that it’s coming and it’s right around the corner.”