Andrew Appleby will be trading in black and gold for scarlet and gray after this school year.
Appleby, a Cuyahoga Falls High School senior, signed a national letter of intent Wednesday to continue his academic and swimming careers at Ohio State University.
“It was an amazing moment,” Appleby said. “Ohio State is where I have always wanted to be. It felt like home when I was down there on my recruiting trip. Honestly, I don’t think things could have worked out better for me. It is my dream school.”
Appleby, 6 feet, 3 inches and 175 pounds, has a 4.112 cumulative grade-point average and scored a 33 on his ACT.
“Andrew is very excited,” Falls coach Peter Nauman said. “I am really proud and pleased to see him develop as a person as well as a swimmer. I have had the privilege to work with him since he was age 8. He is just an outstanding young person. He personifies what it means to strive for excellence.”
Appleby is a two-time Division I state qualifier. As a junior, he placed third in the 100-yard freestyle and fifth in the 100 backstroke. He finished eighth in the 100 freestyle as a sophomore.
“I am just thrilled to get the opportunity to swim in college,” Appleby said. “It has been a dream to swim at Ohio State since I was 10.”
Appleby started a Make A Splash program at the Riverfront YMCA in Cuyahoga Falls and at the University Park YMCA in Akron in 2011. The program provides free swimming lessons to inner-city kids who have fewer opportunities to receive proper training.
Appleby, teammates and coaches have helped about 160 kids learn how to swim in the past year and a half.
“Andrew is just an excellent young man, full of talent and promise,” Falls coach Michael McDonald said. “I am so excited to see him be a Buckeye. I am a little sad to see to him leave Cuyahoga Falls, but it is awesome that he will get to swim in college at Ohio State.
“Andrew is just the whole package. Yes, he is a great swimmer, but he is also a great young man. He is a quality citizen that enjoys helping out others.”