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Lancers DeGroot inks with Concordia University
East Union senior Julia DeGroot will continue her education at Concordia University, joining the nationally ranked Eagles swimming program. DeGroot is joined with head coach Kara Andrews and athletic director JJ Ramirez. - photo by HIME ROMERO

East Union senior Julia De Groot has definitely made her mark on the East Union High swimming program and now the Lancer will look to make some splashes for the Concordia University Eagles swimming program in Irvine.

DeGroot signed a letter of intent to compete for an Eagles program that put together an impressive season, finishing among the nation’s top five programs in women’s NAIA swimming.

The Eagles had a great deal of success in the 2012 NAIA National Championships, finishing third in the women’s division and fifth in the men’s. DeGroot is looking forward to the opportunity of making an impact for the Eagles program after playing a prominent roll in the Lancers’ program over the past three seasons.

“She has been our highest scorer this season, out of boys and girls,” East Union head coach Kara Andrews said. “By her scoring points she is invaluable but her dedication is even more important. Our young swimmers see that and they see how important it is.

“She always has a good attitude and is refreshing to have around the pool.”

DeGroot has made strides in the pool throughout her East Union career, landing three consecutive Sac-Joaquin Section Championship berths all while coping with injuries.

“Right now I am just getting in the pool as much as I can and trying to feel better and get healthy,” De Groot said. “From my freshman year I have had injuries, so when I compete in the pool I am not 100-percent, but I’m able to persevere through for the meets.”

DeGroot will join an Eagles program lead by fifth year head coach Ken Dory. Dory has made a big impact in his tenure with the program, leading both men’s and women’s teams to top-10 national rankings in each of the past three seasons.

Several collegiate programs showed formal interest in De Groot, including Chapman, Cal Lutheran, and Pepperdine, but Concordia proved to be the best fit for DeGroot to begin her college experience.

From her early season developments with the Tiger-Aquatics year-round team, DeGroot has blossomed into one of the Valley Oak League’s best 500 meter swimmers. DeGroot has not tasted defeat in the event this season. She has hopes to protect her Valley Oak League title in this season’s championships as well.

“My workouts have picked up and I am going in with good expectations,” DeGroot said. “I always go in and expect to do well, but I have raised expectations because I am feeling better.”