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PHS’ Tori Fluharty heads to Salem

Key swimmer for the Big Reds

PARKERSBURG — The 2019-20 swimming season is underway, and the Parkersburg Big Reds already have a couple of student-athletes gearing up to take their talents to the collegiate level. One of those speedsters is Tori Fluharty. When she officially signed with Salem University on Nov, 19 from the PHS Memorial Fieldhouse, the senior was surrounded by friends, family members and teammates. Fluharty wouldn’t have it any other way.

In a moment where she was embraced by her teammates, Fluharty took pictures with them and afterward said she had high expectations for her senior season in the pool.

“I want to enjoy my last year swimming with my team,” she said. “I really want to make it back to states with them, and I also want to enjoy my last year in high school.”

The season got off to a successful start for Fluharty and the Big Reds, as both boys’ and girls’ teams achieved runner-up finishes at the Cabell Midland Invitational Nov. 16. Fluharty played a role in the finish, as she stayed busy with four different events throughout the day. A second-place finish as the head of the 200 medley relay and a third-place finish as the head of the 200 freestyle relay marked her top results at the meet.

Fluharty’s role as a consistent point-scorer for the Big Reds marks a development in her swimming that head coach Emily Martin says makes her a good fit for Salem’s swimming program.

“I think it’s her heart and her love for the sport,” Martin said of what will make Fluharty thrive at the next level. “It’s also in her work ethic. In the last couple years, I’ve seen her step up and start to work a lot harder. She set the goal of making states, and she made it last year as a part of our women’s state team. Every day in practice and in meets, she shows her passion and love for the sport.”

Academically, Fluharty will major in criminal justice with a concentration of crime scene investigation. She is preparing for her future in stride, and she looked back at what her coaches have meant to her throughout her time in school.

“(Former PHS head coach Terry Nisewarner) has been around in my life a long time. He’s really helped a lot with my self-confidence and my swimming,” she said. “Coach Emily has been a really good support system for me. She’s really pushed me to my goals.”

The rest of the senior school year awaits this Big Red, but Fluharty then will make the trip to Salem to begin the start of a new chapter in the water and the classroom.

Contact Josh Hughes at jhughes@newsandsentinel.com

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