Blaise Vera is used to watching the sunrise come through the windows of the indoor swimming facility at the Baptist Healthplex in Clinton. His mornings are monopolized by hard work, strict schedules and a hope that his efforts will one day pay off.
His hard work in the water caught the attention of numerous Division-1 schools around the country looking to add his speed to their roster.
After narrowing down his decision between several SEC and ACC swimming powerhouses, Vera chose what he saw as his best choice.
On Monday, Nov. 14, Vera signed his letter of intent to swim with the University of Pittsburgh Men’s Swim Team.
“I’m very excited about swimming with some of the best swimmers in the country,” Vera said. “I know the coaches will help me improve my times. Plus, Pitt competes in the ACC, so the competition will help make me a better swimmer.”
Winner of the 2016 Mississippi’s Most Outstanding Swimmer Award, Vera is no stranger to defying expectations. In just four years of competitive swimming, Vera has achieved qualifying times for the US Open Championships as well as the 2016 Olympic Trials in Omaha, Neb.
“I’m very excited for Blaise,” Clinton Swim Team Head Coach Eddie Ware said. “It’s a great chance for him to further his swimming and academic career. Pitt will expose him to a higher level of competition that you can’t get in Mississippi.”
At the 2016 MHSAA State Championship meet, Vera won both the 50-yard and 100-yard freestyle races while breaking the state records he set in 2015. He won the 50-yard freestyle race with a time of 20.65 and the 100-yard freestyle race with a time of 44.74.
Earlier this year, Vera placed sixth in the 50-meter freestyle finals at the 2016 Junior Nationals held in Minneapolis. Earlier this summer, Vera recorded the tenth fastest time in the country in the 50-meter freestyle for a 15-16 year old.
He was recently selected to attend the National Select Camp held in January of 2017. This is an opportunity for 68 of the nation’s top swimmers to train in Colorado Springs at the Olympic Village.
Blaise is the son of Nicole and Dave Delgado.