TENNERTON — The state’s top ranked girl swimmer, junior Cadence Vincent, has chosen to head south when her time roaming the halls of Buckhannon- Upshur High School comes to an end, verbally committing to be a student-athlete at the University of Alabama.
Vincent’s official statement on the decision read, “I am very excited to announce my verbal commitment to the University of Alabama to continue my academic and athletic career! Thank you so much to my coaches throughout the years, family, and friends, I couldn’t have done it without your love and support. I can’t wait to start this new journey! Roll tide!”
A state champion in the 50-yard freestyle last year as a sophomore, Vincent was a highly sought-after national swimming prospect entering the summer. After the recruitment process started in June, the swimming prodigy heard from over 30 schools, including some of the top college swimming programs in the country.
“I was talking to so many schools, so narrowing the list was a tough decision itself. You only get to take 5 visits during the recruiting process, so I had to choose wisely,” Vincent said about the early stages of the recruitment.
With love, support, and the guidance from her parents, C. Edward Vincent and Tracey Coffman-Vincent, she began to cut her list down to a handful of schools.
“I know anywhere I go I will get the training I need so I really focused in on the people I was going to choose to surround myself with. I valued the people and the connections I made with them. The people were the main factor in my decision because these are the people that I would be spending a big part of my life with, every day for four years, especially possibly going far away from home,” said Vincent
As official visits began, Vincent started with a trip to the University of Kentucky. Following a good trip to Kentucky, Vincent left Lexington leaning towards committing to swim for the Wildcats. That was until the next week, when the swimmer took her second visit to the University of Alabama which completely changed the game.
“I clicked with the coaching staff during my first conversation with them in June. They kept in touch, and I loved talking to them every week. Once I got to Alabama, I was amazed by the campus, it was like nothing I had ever seen,” explained Vincent, “the pools, weight room, dining hall, and nutrition center for the swimmers were all unbelievable. Most importantly the people there were so welcoming. I felt like I could see myself there.”
Not wanting to make too quick of a decision, Vincent waited until after completing two more visits, one to North Carolina State University and the other to Georgia Tech University, before deciding. Vincent said, “After Alabama, I still went on two more visits because you don’t know if you will change your mind unless you go and see what is out there. I already changed my once, after leaving my first visit thinking I was going to Kentucky, so I wanted to be sure. I enjoyed those trips, but in the end Alabama felt right.
When asked his thoughts on his daughter’s commitment, her dad, B-UHS Principle Eddie Vincent stated, “Once she got to Tuscaloosa she fell in love. We knew that Cadence was leaning on heading down south for college and once she got to Tuscaloosa she fell in love, with campus, with their staff, and her potential future teammates. Alabama was one of the very first programs that contacted her in June and they have maintained a strong relationship with throughout the process. It will be hard having her far away, but we are excited for Cadence, this is a great opportunity.”
To sum up feelings on the recruitment process and her decision, Vincent said, “My coaches, family, and friends have been a big part of this process too, they have given me advice throughout these past 6 months leading up to my decision. The process has been so fun, I have met so many amazing people from around the country. In this time, I learned a lot about myself and my goals for the future. My parents supported my decision even with me going so far away from home because I was given this opportunity and I want to do it right. I felt that choosing Alabama was the best possible decision for me. I’m very thankful for this experience and words can’t begin to explain how excited I am to swim for the University of Alabama.”