Eisenhower swimmer signs with Southern Illinois University

Eisenhower swimmer signs with Southern Illinois University

LAWTON, OK(RNN Texoma) - An Eisenhower student athlete is making history as Lawton's first swimmer to sign a letter of intent with a D-1 school.

Deven Speed received a scholarship to swim at Southern Illinois University next fall.

When Speed first started swimming at just five years old, getting a division one scholarship was just a dream.

"It was very exciting, very emotional," said Speed. "I've just been working harder and harder so I can get to the goals I wanted and I've accomplished them."

She said the countless hours of traveling to meets, practices and doing homework in the car paid off in the long run.

"I'm most happy about just going D1 and getting to that level, swimming with the team, having another coach to grow with over the next 4 years," said Speed.

She credits a lot of her success to her grandfather.

"He's more than just my grandpa, he's my coach," said Speed. "He's there to coach me and get me through the hard times, but he's also there for advice."

"I'm so proud," said Steve Sherman, grandfather. "That girl. She's my heart. She's worked really hard for everything she's ever done. A lot of the swimmers in the state, I'm not saying they don't work hard, Deven just had to work harder, just the logistics alone of getting her there for the swimming. She's also a 4-point plus student."

Speed plans on majoring in Economics and business at Southern Illinois, but for now her focus is getting better everyday and just enjoying the sport she loves.

"Swimming to me is my passion, my love," said Speed. "It makes the end of the day better...getting in the pool and just going to practice. I can look forward to it the next day if I have a bad day."

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