As the most accomplished swimmer in program history, Denison senior Tori Fryar has been able to continue meeting the expectations placed on her based on previous performance.

As the most accomplished swimmer in program history, Denison senior Tori Fryar has been able to continue meeting the expectations placed on her based on previous performance.


Through the first half of her final season, she continues to lower her own Lady Jacket records. As the second half approaches, she has her sights set on a third trip to the state meet.


"I think making the podium, being top three, would be really cool," Fryar said. "I’m faster at this point that I was last year. If we were going to have regionals this week, I’d be seeded first."


With all of that ahead and behind her, it came as no surprise that Fryar signed her letter of intent to swim for the University of Arkansas-Little Rock on Tuesday morning.


She chose the Trojans over Houston, Akron, Nebraska-Omaha and Lindenwood University.


"It was the third one I went to. I liked the first two but when I got to Little Rock I really liked it. Then I went to the other two and still liked Little Rock," Fryar said. "I definitely wanted a Division I school. I wanted to be closer to home."


Even though she had been swimming at the highest level since her freshman year, the recruiting process really kicked in when she was a junior.


"It got really stressful last year. I had no idea where I wanted to go," Fryar said. "Over the summer I had a better idea. When school started I had narrowed it down."


Fryar holds seven of the eight individual Yellow Jacket records and qualified for the state meet twice, including the program’s only advancement to a state final race. Fryar and Michelle Wasmund are the only Denison swimmers to qualify for state twice.


"It really helps to be a diverse swimmer," said Fryar, who will compete in the 500 and 200 freestyle as well as the 200 backstroke for the Trojans. "All the coaches I talked to wanted me to do the 500."


This past spring she finished sixth at the state meet in the 500 freestyle with a time of 5:10.23 after placing eighth in the prelims. She had just missed making state in the 200 freestyle.


As a freshman Fryar made it to state in the 100 freestyle but was 12th in the prelims and 1.4 seconds from the medal race. In the spring of her sophomore year she was just short of a return to Austin with a third-place finish at regionals and on the outside of a wild-card entry.


Fryar was named the district outstanding female swimmer as a freshman when she won district titles in the 100 and 200 free and then repeated the feat as a sophomore. Last season she won district titles in the 200 and 500 free.


She was second-team all-state in the 100 free and honorable mention in the 200 free in 2011, was honorable mention all-state in the 200 free in 2012 and was first-team all-state in the 500 free last spring.


"She’s extremely versatile," Denison head coach Joni Durham said. "She can do the sprints and distance and there’s not a lot who can do both as well as she can."


She was also an academic all-state selection in 2013.


"Tori will help is in the backstroke and mid-distance freestyle events," Little Rock head coach Amy Burgess said in a release. "We are excited to see her rise to the challenge. Tori has a lot of potential and will be fun to watch."


Arkansas-Little Rock is a Division I program that competes in the Missouri Valley Conference after moving from the Sun Belt, where they were fifth at the conference meet last year.


During this past fall season the Trojans defeated Maryville to go with losses against Tulane and Saint Louis. The schedule in January includes meets against Southern Illinois, Kansas, Rice and Vanderbilt.