Howard University Becomes First All-Black Swim Team On The Cover Of Sports Illustrated As They Near Championship Title
Howard University is home to the first all-Black swim team, and now, they are nearing their first conference championship in over three decades.
Led by Coach Nicholas Askew, a Howard alum who broke records while a student swimmer, the swim and dive team comprises of Black students from the U.S., the Caribbean, and Canada. The organization is dominating in the sport, as the men’s team currently sits at 6-2, while the women are 5-3. Both groups are set to become Northeast Conference champions, the first time since 1989 that that school has accomplished such a feat.
With this new achievement on the horizon, the team is receiving its due recognition. Earlier this month, they became the first all-Black college swim team to be featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated. The magazine began covering the athletes in October, drawn in by the large crowds not commonly seen at swim and dive meets.
Senior Raychel Fauntroy leads the women’s team and says she was “shocked” to learn the publication wanted to put them on the cover after years of being the underdogs.
“I’m very excited for the team to be highlighted in Sports Illustrated. I would’ve never thought we would be in there, but we are, and it warms my heart that now others can support and learn about our program,” Fauntroy stated. She hopes the publicity will motivate younger swimmers.
Coach Askew, who has been the head coach for eight years, says, “nobody in America can offer what we have in our pool.” He couldn’t be more right.
The conference championships are set to begin on February 21st.
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