Avon swimmer Alex Downing commits to San Diego State

Paul Heyse
The Chronicle-Telegram

Alex Downing found her home away from home at San Diego State University. The Avon junior made her oral commitment to swim for the Division I Aztecs and will sign her letter of intent in the fall.

Downing visited San Diego State on April 21 and 22 and knew right away that it was the place she wanted to attend college. She also visited the University of Illinois and Washington State University.

“Both the head coach (Mike Shrader) and the assistant coach (Joseph Spahn) are very supportive of their swimmers and they’re both very nice people,” Downing, a 10-time Division I All-Ohio (top 16) swimmer said of San Diego State. “I definitely wanted a place with a coach that’s supportive no matter what. You could definitely see that with how comfortable the team was around the coaching staff. The team was so nice to me and they were very welcoming.”

Shrader, who will be entering his 17th season at San Diego State, is an eight-time Mountain West Swimming Coach of the Year and has led the Aztecs to four of the last five conference championships. The Aztecs have won 49 straight dual meets, a streak that stretches over five years.

“They had three NCAA qualifiers this year and they’ve had multiple ones in the past years,” Downing said of the Aztecs. “I went into the process and wanted to look around the whole country. I never just wanted to stay in Ohio even though I was going to give Ohio schools a chance. I know it will definitely be a big change with the different time zones and just the different atmosphere.

“My parents and my whole family are very supportive and very excited to come and visit. The team is like a family. It will definitely be hard being far away from home but I think I’ll have a lot of support on my side.”

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