Gateway’s Raymer commits to swim at Youngstown State

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Sunday, October 24, 2021 | 11:01 AM


Summer Raymer is busy in the water getting ready for competitions with her Racer-X club team and also for her final season with the Gateway swim team.

But the Gators senior standout also has her eyes focused on the future after high school.

Raymer recently set her course for college with a verbal commitment to Division I Youngstown State.

The dream of swimming at a Division I school, Raymer said, is one she’s has for a long time.

“Since I was young, my parents really encouraged intense training because they saw the potential I had,” Raymer said. “It made me realize my abilities and helped me set some really big goals for myself. I am very grateful to have everyone — family, friends, teammates and coaches — on my side.”

Raymer, who plans to study biochemistry at YSU, also considered Duquesne and Pitt during the recruiting process. She said she is looking forward to finalizing her decision during the National Letter of Intent early signing period which begins Nov. 10.

“I’ve known her for so long now, and I know the work ethic she has to get to where she wants to be,” Gateway coach Sherry Sonetti said. “She is very competitive, but she is such a humble person, too. I am so excited for her to be able to swim at a Division I school. Her hard work has definitely paid off.

“I think this is going to be her best year (for Gateway). She is really focused. Now all that college stuff is over, she can go out and have fun. She doesn’t have to put any added pressure on herself. She’s proved herself already.”

Raymer said YSU was an all-around good fit for her as she has attained both an academic and athletic scholarship.

“Coach Brad (Smith) will give me the opportunity to be a more versatile swimmer,” Raymer said.

“I won’t be swimming just the 500 (yard freestyle) and the other upper distance events. I could swim the 200 (individual medley) and the 100 backstroke and 200 backstroke. I am really excited to go there, help the team and hopefully make an impact right away.”

Raymer said that Gateway graduate Olivia Livingston, the WPIAL and PIAA champion who now swims at Louisville, was a big influence on her goals to swim Division I.

“Olivia and I talked a lot about everything with recruiting,” Raymer said. “It was nice to have her guide me in that respect.”

Raymer said that while she is relieved that the college recruiting process is behind her, she doesn’t want to let up in any way with her swimming performances.

“I am not satisfied,” she said. “I still have big goals. I am still hungry. I want to break some records.”

Raymer currently is on the Gateway record board in the 200 medley relay with Livingston, Ayva Harris and Morgan Holmes. The quartet set the record in February 2020.

She is close to records in the 100 backstroke, the 200 freestyle and 500 freestyle.

Raymer enjoyed a strong junior swim season with Gateway as she placed fifth in the 500 free and seventh in the 200 free at the WPIAL Class AAA championships at Upper St. Clair.

She then swam at states and took 15th in a deep 500 field.

Raymer earned second and fourth, respectively, in the 500 and 200 freestyle events at WPIALs as a sophomore.

Soon after states in March, she finished 12th in the 1,000 free and 16th in the 500 free at the Senior Keystone Classic.

Raymer also placed fourth in the 200-meter free at the Allegheny Mountain Swimming Long Course Junior Olympics before going on to earn two best times at the International Swim Coaches Association Summer Senior Blast.

Her best times are 5:00.88 in the 500 free, 10:15.79 in the 1,000 free and 17:36.13 in the 1,650 free.

Raymer’s top times would’ve scored in the A-final of the 500 free and placed in the top-eight of the mile at the 2021 Horizon League Championships.

She would have ranked first on the YSU roster last year in both the 500 and 1,000 freestyle events.

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at mlove@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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