#NationalSigningDay2020: Rachel McCoy swims her way to James Madison University

Her wings are not fragile: McCoy holds local records in freestyle and butterfly.

Roger Rich

by Emily Lotito, Managing Editor

On November 11, Rachel McCoy participated in National Signing day and signed to swim at James Madison University and to study computer science. 

The past nine years of her swim career, McCoy has set many records. In her high school swim career, she holds the school records for the 50 free, 100 free, 200 free, and the 100 fly. She also holds the Frederick County record for the 50 free. 

McCoy swims for Monocacy Aquatic Club where she also dominates.

McCoy placed 7th at the 2020 Maryland Senior Short Course Championships in the 200 fly (2:05.34). Qualifying for the Speedo Championships Series–Christiansburg, McCoy placed 6th with a time of 2:04.41 in the 200 fly.

Rachel McCoy swimming butterfly at one of her swim meets. (Courtesy of Rachel McCoy)

Swimming at JMU will push McCoy to beat her own record times and push her academically to be her best. 

“I chose James Madison University because of the positive team atmosphere. They made me feel like I was already part of the team when I took my recruiting trip last year. You could just tell that it was such a family-oriented team,” McCoy said.

Rachel has been a captain on Linganore’s swim team for the past two years. Being a club swimmer and a high school swimmer can be a lot to balance out, but she see’s the best in it.

I love being able to be a part of a team. And I love racing against my teammates because they make me the best version of myself. My favorite thing about my club team is that I have met my lifelong best friends,” McCoy said.

Jeb Beaver, McCoy’s coach at Monocacy Aquatic Club, talked about how Rachel’s dedication to swimming will push her at James Madison.

“Rachel is one of those swimmers that leaves a lasting mark. She would run through a wall for her coach, her team, and for a swim. This drive that Rachel has or any athlete has, any coach from any sport will tell you that this drive will break records, wins, make other people around her faster, and make her competition miserable. When most people are sleeping, she works harder than her competition. Rachel will be a great teammate at James Madison University and will go on to do amazing things with whatever career she chooses because again, she takes pride in being successful and doesn’t deny hard work.”

Joe Hawkins, the Linganore Swim and Dive coach, spoke about Rachel’s leadership and how she will flourish in college.

“Rachel has been a leader at Linganore’s swimming since Day One. She is a talented swimmer and helps her teammates whenever she can. She is a great teammate and always cheers on her teammates and gives them advice to help them be better. Her leadership led her to get a captain’s position her Junior and Senior year. It has been my absolute pleasure to coach Rachel at Linganore and at MAC. I know Rachel will do good at James Madison. She has the right fix of talent, dedication, and all she sets her mind to.”

James Madison University Swimming is 10 time Colonial Athletic Association Champs. The Women’s team has won the title three times in a row now as of 2020. Head Coach, Dane Pedersen, has been the head coach since 2015.

As the swim season continues, Rachel will continue to swim for Monocacy Aquatic Club and start her final year swimming for Linganore. Rachel will go on to James Madison University to study Computer Science.