Surrounded by his family, coaches, and members of the Waccamaw High community, Adam Dear signs to swim for East Carolina University.
By Chris Sokoloski
Waccamaw High's Adam Dear signed to swim at East Carolina University on Friday.
Dear won state titles in the 200 individual medley and 100 fly, and won a silver medley as part of Waccamaw's 200 free relay team, and a bronze medal as part of the 400 free relay. The team's fourth-place finish was the best in the young program's history.
Dear started swimming when he was 4 years old.
"He always had an inclination to the water," said his father, David, who is Waccamaw's coach. "He really excelled early on."
Dear tried other sports but didn't like them that much.
When he started competing in leagues and doing well, he started training all year round, and dedicated himself to the sport when he was around 13 or 14. His favorite stroke is the butterfly.
Dear's freshman year at Waccamaw was the second year the school had a swim team. He placed second in one event and third in another at the state meet,
After attending a school in Florida for two years, he returned to Waccamaw for his senior season. He was undefeated during the 2012 high school season in the 50 free, 100 free, 200 free, 500 free, 100 fly and 100 backstroke.
His best event is the 200 fly, which isn't an event in high school. He'll probably swim the 100 fly, 200 fly, 200 individual medley and 400 individual medley at East Carolina.
Dear said the biggest transition from high school to college will be the environment, level of competition and the training.
East Carolina is a member of Conference USA, although its football program is moving to the Big East in 2014.
Dear plans to study business at East Carolina, with an eye toward joining his dad's hotel design business after graduating.
Dear is the first Waccamaw High swimmer to get a college scholarship in the sport.
"I think anytime you see someone achieve something like [this] it lets them know that this is attainable for me," said coach Dear. "There's a big crop of young swimmers that have been doing this since the program started. I definitely see many more joining him."