Southwest - Pius X swim dual

Lincoln Southwest's Shelby Mullendore competes in the girls 200-yard freestyle in a dual against Lincoln Pius X.

GWYNETH ROBERTS, JOURNAL STAR FILE PHOTO

Shelby Mullendore arrived at the airport on a Thursday afternoon.

By Thursday night — after a round of karaoke with potential future teammates — the Lincoln Southwest swimmer knew exactly where she wanted to swim in college.

The Silver Hawk senior announced Tuesday her commitment to swim at San Jose State beginning next year.

"Everything just really clicked with me," Mullendore said. "The group of girls, they were amazing and really supportive of each other, and that's something that I want to be a part of."

Hours after arriving, Mullendore went out to dinner with some of the San Jose State swimmers at a public market, which happened to be the site of free karaoke. A couple of the Spartans convinced Mullendore to get up and sing.

"Which is something that I never really would have done," she said. "So I think them getting me to go out of my comfort zone kind of set it off and made me realize where I want to be."

Mullendore also visited Cincinnati and had visits set for Northern Arizona and Queens University before making a decision. She'll swim for Sage Hopkins, who has led San Jose State to a pair of Western Athletic Conference championships.

Mullendore has played a key role for the two-time defending state champion Silver Hawks for three seasons, and is expected to take on a larger role as a senior in 2017-18. 

She finished third at state in the 100-yard backstroke as a freshman and a sophomore, second in the 100 freestyle as a sophomore and third as a junior, and second in the 200 freestyle as a junior. Mullendore also has been part of numerous gold-medal and state record-setting relay teams.

Mullendore, who also swims for Heartland Aquatics, said she'll likely compete in backstroke and freestyle at San Jose State, as well as some butterfly. She'll also get a chance to compete for relay spots.

With her college decision out of the way, Mullendore can focus on the upcoming season and get back to her usual training schedule.

Mullendore wants to shoot for a state gold medal in the 100 backstroke. "That's kind of my favorite event," she said.

She is the second Silver Hawk senior to commit to a NCAA Division I program this year. Alana Palmer committed to Wisconsin during the summer.

Reach the writer at 402-473-2639 or cgrell@journalstar.com. On Twitter @LJSSportsGrell.

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Sports editor

Clark Grell is sports editor.

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