Solt will swim at Delaware
TERRY AHNER/TIMES NEWS Palmerton Area High School senior Shea Solt (center) is joined by her mother Shari and father Chip Solt on Tuesday as she signs her letter of intent to attend the University of Delaware on a swimming scholarship.
If practice really does make perfect, then Shea Solt embodies that school of thought to the hilt.
Behind a relentless drive and work ethic second to none, the Palmerton Area High School senior hits the swimming pool with a vengeance.
In the end, the rigorous workout regiment Solt has put her body through over the years has paid off in spades.
That's because Solt on Tuesday signed her letter of intent to attend the University of Delaware on a swimming scholarship.
Accompanied by her parents and district administrators, Solt said all it took was one trip to Delaware to convince herself she made the right choice.
"I never really expected to go to Delaware," Solt said. "As soon as I walked on campus, I loved it, and felt very comfortable."
Solt, who's been swimming since the age of seven, credits her membership to the Parkland Aquatic Club and, more specifically, coach Erik Posegay, for being a "big factor" in her success.
"I practice six days a week, two times in the morning before school, swim every day for two-and-a-half hours, and lift one hour," she said.
Solt, who swims the 200 and 500 freestyle events, has had quite the career thus far in a sport not offered by the school district.
Last year as a junior, she placed third in the 200 freestyle and fifth in the 500 freestyle in the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association championships.
As a sophomore, Solt placed fourth in the 500, and sixth in the 200 at the PIAA championships.
At Delaware, she anticipates she'll swim the 500 and 1,000 freestyle events.
"I spoke with my coach, and met my teammates," she said. "Hopefully, I'll be able to place in the conference meets and make NCAA's."
Solt, who thanked her parents, coaches, and teammates for their unyielding support, said she's in a good place.
"It's just good to know every day after practice that it pays off in the end," she said. "It wouldn't be possible if it weren't for them."
The daughter of Chip and Shari Solt of Palmerton, Shea said she expects to major in Criminal Justice.
Chip Solt said he and his wife are "excited" for their daughter's future prospects.
"It's a perfect fit for her," Chip Solt said. "Due to her work ethic, she's finally being rewarded."
Shari Solt said her daughter deserves any success that comes her way.
"She's worked hard, and she still maintains straight A's," Shari Solt said. "She's familiar with some of the kids through the mid-Atlantic."
Palmerton Area School District athletic director Bill Congdon said Shea is an example of all that's right with student athletes in the district.
"It's really a reflection on the community, and something the community really takes pride in," Congdon said. "It makes for a wonderful combination."