Whether it's tougher getting to the top or staying there, the Baylor Lady Raiders swimmers are accomplishing both.
Baylor's girls have captured their third Swimming World Magazine high school national championship in four years, and this year's title is accompanied by a cover picture. Pictured on the front of this month's issue are coach Dan Flack and his record-setting 200-yard freestyle relay team of Kristen Vredeveld, Bria Deveaux, Kimberlee John-Williams and Ashley Yearwood.
"I have been pestering them about the cover since we won it the first time," Flack said Thursday, "and I am delighted to finally get it."
Baylor is tied for third in all-time girls' titles with Ann Arbor (Mich.) Pioneer and Peddie School (N.J.).
Deveaux and Yearwood were seniors on last season's team, with Deveaux now swimming at the University of Nebraska and Yearwood at Denison University in Ohio. Vredeveld and John-Williams are current Baylor seniors, with Vredeveld having committed earlier this week to the University of California.
Swimming World said Flack "certainly has the makings of a dynasty in Tennessee, and in the next few years will be gunning for the top two spots for most girls titles." The Bolles School in Jacksonville has six national championships, with Germantown in Pennsylvania next with four.
"It just kind of validates a vision," Flack said. "I thought I could do this when I came here with what we have to offer at Baylor and with the way I approach the sport. I thought we could do something special, so this sort of validates a vision, which is always refreshing to see."