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A multiple-time medalist at South Carolina high school state championship meets, Gardner Viney of Greer, South Carolina has announced her college commitment to Southern Illinois for this fall. She intends to study psychology during her time in Carbondale.
Last fall, Viney finished her high school swimming career at the SCHSL 4A Swimming and Diving Championships, representing Riverside High School. Her top finish at the meet came in the 50 free, where she made it onto the podium with a lifetime best of 24.16 to take third. She also narrowly missed a second top-3 finish in the 100 free, taking fourth by three-tenths of a second.
Her senior season wasn’t the first time that Viney was a two-event finalist at an SCHSL State Championship meet. During her junior year in 2021, Riverside competed at the 5A Championships, swimming against the largest schools in the state. That year, she came away with a silver in the 100 free, touching at 53.13. She was fourth in the 50 free (24.43).
While swimming for her club team, Y-Spartaquatics, Viney qualified for the B-final of the 2022 YMCA Long Course National Championships last summer. There, she took 14th, touching in 27.55.
Top SCY Times
50 free – 23.98
100 free – 52.31
200 free – 1:54.31
100 fly – 58.65
The Saluki women are coming off of a fifth-place finish at the 2023 Missouri Valley Conference Swimming and Diving Championships. The program was led at the meet by sophomore Celia Pulido who claimed conference titles in both backstroke events for the second straight season. In 2022, Pulido became the first member of the team in over ten years to qualify for the NCAA Championships. Southern Illinois freshman Olivia Herron also was honored as the Freshman Swimmer of the Year at the meet after medaling in the 200 IM, 400 IM, and 200 breast.
When she arrives on campus this fall, Viney will be able to make an immediate impact on the program’s sprint freestyle group. During the 2022-2023 school year, her best time in the 100 free would have been the third fastest on the team and her times in the 50 free and 200 free would have put her among the team’s best as well. At the 2023 MVC Championships, she would have finished just outside of qualifying for finals in her main events.
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