The YMCA of Burlington and Camden Counties’ Phoenix swim team has announced that Carlee Timmins of Cherry Hill has committed to Rowan University in Glassboro for next fall.
Timmins, 18, started swimming at age 8 at Old Orchard Swim Club in Cherry Hill for Coach Chris Brookover, who currently serves as the head coach of the YBCC Phoenix and director of competitive swimming at the YMCA of Burlington and Camden Counties.
“I have known Carlee since she was 8-years-old and I am very proud of what she has become, not only as a swimmer, but also as a young lady,” said Coach Brookover.
Born into a family of swimmers, Timmins always dreamed of swimming in college, but feared she wouldn’t
be able to do it.
“I never thought I’d be able to swim for a school,” said Timmins. “I had always been a little over weight, so my times weren’t good enough to swim at that level. I was swimming year-round, but when I was out of the water, I wasn’t active or eating right. One day I woke up and decided to make a change.”
In addition to training with Coach Brookover, Timmins began to live a healthier lifestyle — working out at the Y and eating a healthier diet. “It all hit me at once, I realized how unhealthy I was and that I was doing it to myself. I didn’t lose all the weight to look better, I just wanted to feel better.”
“I didn’t tell anyone about my fitness goal, I made the decision and stuck to it myself. It’s incredible how much better I feel now and how much my life has changed. Not only am I healthier, but I’ve gotten so much faster that I’m able to swim in college.”
“Carlee’s story is incredible, it needs to be told to anyone who wants to achieve their dreams,” continued Coach Brookover. “It’s never too late to achieve your dreams. Her story goes to show that if you put in the work to make your dreams come true, anything is possible.”
In addition to touring Rowan University, Timmins also visited several other schools to look at their academic and swimming programs. She ultimately decided that Rowan University was where she wanted to be after formally visiting the campus in December.
“After I found out my times made me eligible to swim in college, I started looking at schools. When I went to Rowan, I was in awe. They have such a beautiful campus and brand new student dorms they’re building. I can’t wait for the fall.”
An inspirational member of the Phoenix swim team, Timmins credits her progression as a swimmer to Coach Brookover. “I wouldn’t be the swimmer I am today without Coach Brookover. When he saw me dropping time, he was so proud. I’ll never forget the day he told me my times were fast enough to swim in college.”