Terranova selects sunny San Diego | SteamboatToday.com

Terranova selects sunny San Diego

Swimmer signs with California university

Steamboat Springs swimmer Samantha Terranova signed on Wednesday to swim collegiately with University of San Diego.

— The call came Oct. 22, as Samantha Terranova was plowing through homework, and it had everything she wanted, including a coach from University of San Diego and a scholarship offer to be a part of the NCAA Division 1 school's swim team.

But nothing about earning that phone call was quick or easy, and neither was accepting the offer, which Terranova wanted to do immediately and with all she had.

Instead, she sat down with her parents, and together, they drafted a list of questions.

"I called him back and asked him every question," she said. "He clarified a bunch of things."

She still didn't say “yes,” however, and sat back down one more time with her parents to talk it over.

Was this what she wanted?

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Was this where she wanted?

Yes, and yes — and finally, she called back to accept her spot, locking up her future in California as a collegiate swimmer.

"I was really excited and really relieved," she said. "After all that hard work, it had paid off. I was excited — just really, really excited."

Terranova affirmed her commitment to USD on Wednesday, signing a letter of intent to attend the Southern California school.

After years of training in Steamboat Springs and competing around the region, she's officially set to be a Torero.

A torero is a Spanish bullfighter, and Terranova said she's ready to dive in and take on the bulls.

"It will be a nice change," she said Tuesday afternoon, contemplating both the incoming winter storm and the current weather in San Diego.

She reached out to many different institutions when she initially began thinking about colleges, considering schools at all levels, Division 1, 2 and 3. But she loved San Diego from the start, ever since she was able to pay the school a visit.

"As soon as I walked on campus, I loved it," she said. "It's beautiful, and I could see myself there."

She liked the size, about 5,500 students, and said she felt safe and comfortable on the campus.

She took another recruiting trip in September, and that did nothing to change her mind.

Coaches told her if she wanted to make it, she needed to prove she could hang with the school's team and in its league, the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation.

They wanted to see a time that would place her at the conference's annual championship meet.

She got that time in the 200-yard backstroke. Her time of 2 minutes, 5.66 seconds wouldn't have won her a medal at the most recent MPSF championships, but it would have placed her solidly in the middle of the action.

"It's always been a goal of mine to swim in college," she said.

Wednesday, with a signature, she realized that goal.