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With only an estimated 1.5 percent of competitive swimmers in America being Black, Howard University’s swim and diving team is both breaking barriers and raising the bar. 

The team’s competitive edge has grown to national acclaim, even scoring them a Sports Illustrated cover. The Bison swim teams’ meets exude their athletes’ love for the sport as those in the stands watch, cheer and join in celebratory dancing to Fast Life Yungstaz’s “Swag Surfin’.”

“This is about our mission as a university and the message we want to send as an HBCU,” head coach and former Howard swimmer Nic Askew told SI. “This isn’t a bunch of Black people in a pool; it’s young Black men and women succeeding in a sport that, for years, has shut them out of this experience.”


Howard University’s Swim Team

Regarding stats, the men’s team is currently 6-2 and the women’s team is 5-3, according to HBCU Game Day. Howard’s swimmers are competing, and securing medals, at the Northeast Conference (NEC) running Feb. 21-25. On Instagram, the team regularly updates their followers with their athlete’s achievements. 

Howard’s Michaela Spears got first place in the 200 Individual Medley women’s swim meet at the NEC, and Miles Simon got first in the men’s. Swimmers Zaylie Elizabeth, Mark-Anthony Beckles, Courtney Connolly and Zuzu Nwaeze also secured medals amid the ongoing conference.

“It warms my heart to know that Howard’s swim inspires other young Black kids to want to learn how to swim and want to continue competitive swimming,” cancer survivor and Bison swimmer Isabella Fountain told NBC News.

“People shouldn’t be creating your path. You don’t have to follow in the crowd. You can create your own path if you put your mind to it.”

We wish the Bison swim team success at Howard’s Burr Gym Pool and wherever their bright futures take them!

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