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Thomas County Central swimmer makes history as first Black swim signee in school history

Posted at 11:19 PM, May 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-06 23:19:02-04

THOMASVILLE, Ga. (WTXL) — Collin Dillard is forever in the record books for Thomas County Central swimming, and it's more than just his times that are going down in history.

"My mom and my dad when I was younger would take me to the beach," reflected Collin Dillard. "I would swim in the ocean."

And so began his love of the water.

"Some other coaches saw he had a talent for swimming and just motivated him and pushed him to grow and actually excel in the sport," said Thomas County Central swim coach Todd Wilson.

Dillard set 23 new school records for the Jackets, then proceeded to break his own records nine different times. Thursday, he signed with Berry College, the first Black swimmer in Thomas County Central history to sign a college scholarship.

"I think it'll change a lot for the team and culture here and make everything better," he said.

"Anyone can excel in the sport of swimming if you have the desire and the hard work to want to," added Wilson.

A desire that started from a young age that's led to a history-making day. Dillard said he'll focus on the 100 and 200 breaststroke in college. He wants to major in environmental science.