OSWEGO, N.Y. — It has been almost a decade since the SUNY Oswego men’s swimming and diving team sent an athlete to nationals, but team member Cameron Ellis blew expectations out of the water.
“It was just crazy to me when I got back from Regionals everyone was congratulating me that I made nationals,” Ellis said.
But Ellis’ road to nationals wasn’t easy.
“It was like over my head with all the school work. It was just like hanging out with my friends. That’s all I wanted to do,” Ellis said about his freshman year at SUNY Oswego.
Putting his academics aside and his social life first got him into some trouble when he finished his finals.
“So they basically told me I would not be able to dive because my GPA was under a 2.0, and that made me really sad,” Ellis said.
But racking up a lot of the team’s points, he submitted a letter to the dean apologizing and asking for a chance to dive at SUNYACS. After approving him, he helped secure a second-place victory for the team at the championship and was able to raise his GPA.
Sophomore year presented Ellis with another hurdle. His grades started to slip again. So, Ellis made a crucial decision.
“I asked my coach, Kevin, to let me take off time for school. So, I stopped practicing,” Ellis said.
Ellis’ time away from swimming allowed him to improve his GPA enough to get off of Academic Probation and back on the board.
“Obviously getting back into it after two months it was a little scary, because I haven’t been on the boards in a long time. But during the week, I was right back into it,” Ellis said.
Raking in the points, he came in second on both boards qualifying him for Regionals which is the meet he would make history again.
“…and that’s when it hit me that I made a national competition.”
After the cancellation of the meet due to COVID-19, he continued to succeed by being recognized as a national All American.