Pace swimmer signs with Kenyon College

Ramon Rios

PACE — James Tracey, an 18-year-old swimmer from Pace High School, has signed a letter of intent to swim for the Kenyon College Lords, the school with the most swimming championships in the history of the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

The private liberal art college located in Gambier, Ohio, has 34 swimming championships, 31 of those titles were achieved in consecutive years from the 1979-80 season through the 2009-10 season.

According to the Kenyon College website, the NCAA has never had a program reach the same levels of success that the Lords’ swimming and diving programs have accomplished.

“They reached out to me through email,” Tracey said.

Until that email, Tracey had never heard of the Division III School.

Several Divisions I programs courted Tracey, but he decided on Kenyon College after visiting the campus. His decision was not based solely on the swimming program.

Tracey has a 3.8 grade point average (4.0-weighted GPA) and looks forward to the challenge of school’s academics.

Tracey’s mother Kathleen was not surprised by her son’s decision.

“He wants to be a doctor,” his mother said.

James has a twin brother, Tyler, who is a cross-country athlete and will attend the University of Southern Mississippi on an academic scholarship.

“They have a very close relationship. They are brothers and best friends, “ Kathleen said.

Kathleen and Kyle Tracey, James and Tyler’s father, are proud of the twins and their accomplishments, with good reason.

“Both of them were diagnosed with dyslexia and ADHD. They have to work twice as hard as other kids to get the same results,” Kathleen Tracey said.

James has a swimmer’s build, 6 foot 2 and weighs 145 pounds. His specialty is the mile and has set records in the event.

“The mile is the longest distance he can swim at the high school level,” said Pace swim coach Amy Wolfenden. “I’m just so proud of him. He is dedicated and sets goals for himself.”

Greg Johnson has coached James for the Greater Pensacola Aquatic Club since he was 9-years-old and agrees with Wolfenden.

“He is going to be great,” Johnson said. “He is just getting started.”