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Freeport swimmer Otwell chooses Towson

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Erica Dietz | Trib Total Media
Freeport's Bria Otwell poses for a portrait during swimming practice Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013, at Shady Side Academy.
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Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell runs agianst the Jets on Sunday, Nov. 9, 2014, at MetLife Stadium.
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Michigan's Devin Gardner throws a fourth-quarter pass over Penn State's Adrian Amos on Oct. 11, 2014, at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Not even making her college commitment official kept Freeport senior Bria Otwell from getting her swim practice in Wednesday morning.

Otwell woke before 5 a.m. and swam for more than an hour at the Allegheny Valley YMCA before returning home and signing her National Letter of Intent to compete at Division I Towson at 7 a.m.

Wednesday marked the first day of the NCAA’s early-signing period.

“If anybody knows me, they know I’m a very hyper person,” Otwell said.

“You would have thought I would have been like, ‘let’s go, let’s go, let’s go ­— I want to sign the paper.’ But I was oddly calm about it.

“I was really excited, and it was like this weight came off my shoulders when I signed. But I wasn’t crazy.”

Otwell verbally committed to Towson earlier this fall, and signing the NLI Wednesday made it official. She said the campus’s location — in the town of Towson and 20 minutes outside Baltimore, but without feeling like a city — and the strength of the Tigers’ program caused her to choose Towson over her other two finalists, the College of Charleston and George Mason.

“It has the feel of kind of being in the city,” she said. “You can walk a lot of places if you really want to — (although) it’s a long walk. But you’re not stuck in the middle of chaos.”

Otwell, a three-time WPIAL champion, is ramping up for her senior season at Freeport while also preparing to compete at the Tom Dolan Invitational at Maryland in December.

“I’m pretty pumped up for finally senior year,” Otwell said. “It’s definitely going to be a great year. Probably my main goal this season is just to get better and try to get my turns as fast as I can so I can be ready to go swim with those girls on that team next year.”

Doug Gulasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at [email protected] or via Twitter @dgulasy_Trib.

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