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Gahanna, Ohio’s Cambell Payton has announced her intention to swim and study at the United States Military Academy at West Point beginning in the 2024-25 school year.
“I am honored to announce my verbal commitment to continue my athletic and academic career at the United States Military Academy! I would like to thank all my family, coaches, and teammates who have helped me get this far! Thank you to the Army Swim and Dive staff for giving me this amazing opportunity!!!! 🇺🇸❤️ #GOARMY #BEATNAVY”
While we have had one diver from the high school class of 2024 (Bennett Greene) and two reclassified 2023s (Julie Delmas and Lucie Delmas), Payton and Hadley King are the first 2024 swimmers to announce verbal commitments. Given the long and arduous application process to be admitted into the service academies (including a physical assessment and a Congressional or service-connected nomination), it is unusual to see a verbal commitment to Army West Point this early in the cycle, let alone the first two from the class.
Payton is a junior at Gahanna Lincoln High School. She swims club with Hydra Aquatics and is a mid-distance freestyle specialist. She competed in both the 200 free and 500 free at the 2022 Ohio State High School Division I State Championships, placing 14th in the 200 (1:54.06) and 17th in the 500 (5:08.40). Her times, while not PBs, were nonetheless huge improvements from her freshman year season, when she notched PBs of 1:58.33 and 5:16.60, respectively.
Her best times in the 200/500 came from the high school District championship in March. Two weeks later, she clocked lifetime bests in the 1650 free and 200/400 IM at the MAKO Senior Invitational.
Best SCY times:
200 free – 1:53.32
500 free – 5:06.66
1650 free – 17:51.68
Army West Point’s mid-distance group last season was led by then-senior Sammie Edwards (1:49.99) and junior Tania Rodriguez (5:00.66). It took 1:53.39/5:02.32/17:36.73 to score in the 200/500/1650 free at the 2022 Patriot League Championships.
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