The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


January 20, 2014

Senior heading to state meet

Nevada High School senior Grace Reichard is headed for another appearance in the MSHSAA Girls Swimming and Diving Championships.

But Reichard faces a dilemma. It’s the kind any swimmer would like.

“I’m not sure of what my focus will be for state,” Reichard said Monday night.

That’s what happens when you’ve qualified for five events. That’s old hat for Reichard. She qualified for seven events last season and eight as a freshman and sophomore.

Reichard also has logged high finishes for coach Amyl Bishop’s Tigers.

She was fifth in the 50 freestyle and eighth in the 100 free as a freshman. She was 10th and 11th in events as a sophomore before rebounding to place fifth in the 100 freestyle and ninth in the 200 free last season at the City of St. Peters Rec-Plex.

“Grace is extremely talented in several areas,” Bishop said. “She’s good in everything she does. She’s in the running for valedictorian.

“She’s very unique. She’s humble,” Bishop said. “Swimming is her happy place.

“Grace stands out as a Christian,” Bishop said. “God is first. Family is second. School/academics probably is third with swimming fourth.”

Her swimming skills have landed a scholarship with NCAA Division II Ashland (Ohio) University.

“It was a better fit,” Reichard said of selecting Ashland over Missouri State of Springfield. “Mom gave me a choice of schools in a 12-hour radius (from Nevada).”

Grace, the daughter of Erlinda and the late Daryl Reichard (Grace transferred from northern California as a freshman), said ideally she would like to work in college as a nutritionist for athletes.

Bishop, a member of the first Nevada swimming team in 1998 as a senior, is in her sixth year as the Nevada coach. Bishop is a graduate of the University of Arkansas and gained coaching experience working with youth in that area.

Reichard, who has two sisters swimming (Glory is a senior at Missouri State and Melody a sophomore at Nevada), is the only current qualified Tiger, Bishop noted.

“We’re trying hard in the 200 freestyle (relay),” Bishop said. “Our current four members are freshman Ashton Eador, junior Emma Denman, freshman Mikayla Mohrmann and Reichard.”

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