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Alex Pierce, a mid-distance specialist from Oswego, Illinois, has committed to swim and study at Division III Hope College, starting in the fall of 2023.
“I am thrilled to announce my commitment to further my academic and athletic career at Hope College!!! I would like to give a huge thank you to my family, friends, coaches, and teammates for all of their support over the years! Roll Dutch!!!”
Pierce is finishing his senior year at Olympia High School and swims year-round for the Fox Valley Park District Riptides out of Plano, Illinois. Pierce is primarily a freestyler and IMer, his best events being the 200/400-yard individual medleys and the 200/500-yard freestyles. His times in all four of his best events have been pretty consistent over the last two years, but he has made recent breakthroughs in the IMs.
At the Illinois Speedo Grand Challenge meet in November, Pierce hit best times in both the 200 (1:58.66) and 400-yard IM (4:13.97), touching 22nd and 20th respectively in finals. Pierce also hit a best time in his 500-yard free (4:45.93) in February 2022, touching 7th at the Matea Valley Boy’s Sectionals meet.
Pierce’s 200-yard freestyle is the only one of his primary events in which he didn’t set a best time in 2022. At Illinois Senior Championships in March 2020, Pierce touched 45th with a time of 1:46.37. He has been close since but hasn’t quite been able to beat that mark.
Best Times SCY:
100 free — 49.18
200 free — 1:46.37
500 free –4:45.93
200 IM — 1:58.66
400 IM –4:13.97
Hope College has a large roster in the sprint events, and a small-but-mighty mid-distance group especially when it comes to the 400IM and 500 free. In the conference finals for each of those events, there were only about a handful of Hope swimmers, but they managed to score 60 points in the 500 free, and 47 points in the 400 IM. These high point tallies are due to Flying Dutch swimmers winning both events, and in the case of the 500 free, taking up the top three spots.
Considering the current team’s fastest times this season, Pierce would be the 4th fastest performer in the 500 free, and the 2nd fastest performer in the 400 IM. Hope College has a bit more depth in the 200 distances, and Pierce’s best times in his 200 free and 200 IM would land him as the 9th and 8th fastest performer, respectively.
Hope College men won the 2022 MIAA Conference Championships, just edging out Calvin College by 15 points. The Flying Dutch owe most of their points to high finishes in the freestyle relays and considerable depth in the freestyle events. Pierce will add to that depth; his current best in the 500-yard free would have earned him a spot in the A final in 8th place, and his best in the 200-yard freestyle would have gotten him 15th.
With only a handful of individual medley dedicated swimmers on their current roster, Pierce projects to score some meaningful points in the individual medley events for the Flying Dutch. His best times would have placed 11th in the 400 and 14th in the 200-yard IM at last year’s conference championship meet. The MIAA Conference schedule leaves some tough choices for Pierce. The 200 IM and 500 free fall on the same day, while the 200 free and 400 IM fall on the same day.
Pierce will be joining the Flying Dutch in the fall of 2023.
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