Eisenhower swimmer signs with Southern Illinois University

Eisenhower swimmer signs with Southern Illinois University

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - An Eisenhower student athlete is making history as Lawton's first swimmer to sign a letter of intent with a D-1 school. Deven Speed received a scholarship to swim at Southern Illinois University next fall.

When Speed first started swimming at just 5 years old, getting a division one scholarship was just a dream.

"It was very exciting, vert emotional," Speed said.

She said the countless hours of traveling to meets, practices and doing homework in the car paid off in the long run.

"I've just been working harder and harder so I can get to the goals I wanted, and I've accomplished them," Speed said. "I'm most happy about just going D1, and getting to that level. Swimming with the team, and having another coach to grow with over the next 4 years."

She credits a lot of her success to her grandfather.

"He's more than just my grandpa, he's my coach," Speed said. "He's there to coach me and get me through the hard times, but he's also there for advice."

"I'm so proud. That girl. She's my heart," Steve Sherman, Speed's grandfather said. "She's worked really hard for everything she's ever done. A lot of the swimmers in the state, I'm not saying they don't work hard, Deven just had to work harder. Just the logistics alone of getting her there for the swimming. She's also a 4-point plus student."

Speed plans on majoring in Economics and business at Southern Illinois, but for now her focus is getting better everyday and just enjoying the sport she loves.

"Swimming to me is my passion, my love," Speed said. "It makes the end of the day better. Getting in the pool and just going to practice. I can look forward to it the next day if I have a bad day."

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