Former Kitimat Marlin swimmer Alivia Soares has taken a competitive swimming scholarship with the University of Northern Iowa’s Panthers team that swim in the prestigious Missouri Valley Conference.
The MVC is the U.S.’ second-oldest National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division 1 conference (an athletic conference is a collection of sports teams, playing competitively against each other at the professional, collegiate, or high school level).
Soares will be studying education at the university, which has 12,000 students and competes in Division 1, hoping to become a kindergarten/Grade 1 teacher.
She was recruited by the college based on her breaststroke and the individual medley swim race results. This season Soares ranks 11th in Canada in the 200-metre breaststroke for 17-year-old girls, and 13th in Canada for the 400 IM for 17-year-old girls. Soares swam with the Marlins when she was eight years old, moving with her family to Prince George when she was 14, joining the Barracudas swim team.
As a Marlin Soares was a multi-time provincial medalist. She will be the fourth Kitimat Marlin swimmer swimming for a college or university team next season.
Zachary Dumas and Arthur Firmino will be entering their sophomore season swimming with the University of Victoria Vikings, and Kleanza Cathers will enter her sophomore season swimming for the Barton College Bulldogs in Wilson, North Carolina.