Thursday, March 14, 2013

Record-breaking swimmer is BA Youth of the Year

Neariah's butterfly stroke
When my kids were in high school they hated answering questions. So before I interview high schoolers, I always wonder how it will go. I never should have worried about interviewing Neariah Persinger, the high school junior who is the Broken Arrow Boys & Girls Club  Youth of the Year. She is respectful, polite, modest and fun as we like all of our Boys & Girls Club members to be. Neariah will compete with two other Boys & Girls Club nominees for the honor of becoming Metro Tulsa's Youth of the Year. The decision will be announced at the Boys &
Girls Club banquet slated for Thurs., March 25 at University of Tulsa.

She is also the daughter of Shelley Persinger, who has been with the BA club’s aquatics program since Neariah was five years old, and Shelley is one of my favorite people. When I asked Neariah what she remembered about the club from when she was five, she said “playing in the sandbox.”
She has moved from the sandbox to the pool and in a big way: she broke two state swimming records that were 10 years old in the freestyle and butterfly strokes. The event was USA Swimming’s “New Year’s Invitational.”  In addition to swimming, Neariah is first or second in her class in academics. However, she revealed with a laugh that there are only two people in her class at New Covenant Academy in Broken Arrow.

Neariah said that she has been at the BA club five to seven days a week since she was five. As soon as she was old enough, she joined the Tiger Sharks, the club’s swim team and as she progressed in school she volunteered as a homework tutor. In addition to swimming, Neariah is a member of the club’s rugby team, the first girl’s rugby team in Oklahoma.

Neariah’s favorite classes are English, especially writing. She hopes to get a swimming scholarship to Texas A&M. I think Texas A&M would be crazy not to give her a scholarship. Any school would be lucky to enroll this wonderful candidate for the Youth of the Year!
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Interested in finding out more about the Youth of the Year Banquet? Check out our Banquet roundup from last year. You can find out about sponsorship opportunities or purchase tickets by contacting Jean Smith at 918-8356902 or at jean_smith[at]uss.salvationarmy.org!
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-Sallie

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