Shores signs to swim with Emory University

Shores signs to swim with Emory University
Posted on 11/13/2016



(Front, L-R): Tommy Shores, Maly Shores, Rachael LeClair (Back, L-R): HHS Athletic Director, Coach David Craft, HHS Principal, Katherine Cater, HHS Swim Coach, Cathy Hitchcock, and YSST Coach, Jon Jolley.


Hickory’s Maly Shores signs to

swim at Emory University


For Maly Shores, signing a National Letter of Intent to swim at Emory University is a family affair. Success in the sport is not easily attained and certainly achievements are not awarded based on family connections. But according to Shores, there are times when it helps to have family members who know the sport. 

“My mother, Rachael LeClair, attended undergraduate at Emory and swam there. In fact, she was a National Champion. Ever since I was little, my mom has attended swim meets, award banquets, and reunions at Emory, so I was familiar with the campus. However, actually meeting the current team was what sealed the deal,” said Shores. “Everyone is so energetic and enthusiastic about Emory and being on the team.”

Simply meeting the team didn’t guarantee a spot in the Emory swim lanes for Shores. She had to prove her competitive skills and that’s exactly what she did. At Hickory High, Shores was the State Finalist in the 200 Freestyle and the 500 Freestyles for three years (2014, 2015, and 2016).

In 2016, Shores was recognized as the winner of the Coaches Award for her dedication to the team.

"Maly is a dedicated swimmer both to her club team and to Hickory High School,” said Hickory High Head Swimming Coach, Cathy Hitchcock. “Maly is outstanding academically and athletically, so she is a perfect match for Emory University. 

“Maly is also focused and organized at whatever she sets out to accomplish.  Her leadership is a major factor in the success of the Hickory High Swim Team!" said Hitchcock.

And when not swimming for Hickory High, Shores also swims for YSST (Hickory Foundation YMCA Seahorse Swim Team). She achieved success as the YMCA National Qualifier from 2013-present; and she is part of the 2016 Long Course YMCA National Championship Team. She was previously recognized as the 2013 Junior National Relay Qualifer-800 Freestyle Relay.

Training three hours a day, six days per week helps to prepare Shores for the YMCA Nationals scheduled for the end of July. The intensive training also helps to prepare for her college career at Emory. Clearly training is not seasonal—but rather on-going throughout the year. “Swimming is a year around sport and D3 NCSS’s are in the spring,” said Shores.  “At Emory, I will swim under Coach Jon Howell.”

Swimming competitively since she was eight years old, Shores is anxious about the next lap in life—swimming for Emory. “I’m looking forward to being part of such a motivated and amazing group,” said Shores. “And one of my best friends and future teammates at Emory is Maria Turcanu, who is a freshman on the team. It makes moving to Emory even more exciting.”

Undecided about her major, Shores is interested in economics and political science. She believes graduate school will follow one day—with the next four years guiding direction.

Reflecting on her four years at Hickory High and with the YMCA---Shores says her strengths in swimming include middle distance freestyle (200, 500, and 1000 free) and 200 IM. Beyond achieving speed in the pool, Shores finds swimming to be her “home and comfort spot.”

“Swimming has taught me a multitude of life lessons,” said Shores. “From failure at a national meet…to teaching swim lessons…to Hickory’s relay receiving 2nd at HS States, I’ve grown and matured because of the sport.

“Through swimming I have gained integrity, honesty, perseverance, responsibility, and much more. While mostly an individual sport, the team aspect is never lost on the pool deck. I’m so glad that I have grown and experienced all that I have with my best friends,” said Shores.

“Coach Hitchcock taught me that being a leader in the pool and outside of the pool does not always mean scoring points,” said Shores. “Leading a team means meaningful relationships, encouragement, support, and helping others. As a senior this year, I strive to lead my high school team by helping and cheering on everybody, especially my teammates who have been by my side since the beginning, as well as the novice swimmers.”

The daughter of Tommy Shores and Rachael LeClair, Shores shared her most memorable experience in swimming at Hickory High happened during a junior year event: “We were swimming at the NCHSAA 3A State—and I shared 2nd place swimming with my sister during the 200 free relay. Experiencing that success with my sister and my teammates is something I will never forget,” said Shores.

“However, the most overall memorable moment I’ve had in swimming has to be when our women’s team (at the Y) won the long course YMCA Nationals this past summer. With only ten girls, we were proud to represent our small hometown at such a prestigious meet,” said Shores.

Active in Beta Club, National Honor Society, Science National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta (Math National Honor Society), and serving as president of Latin Club, Shores credits several people for contributing to her drive in life and achievements.

“My parents, coaches, friends, and my teammates—have all been a part of my journey. I will miss the teachers who have motivated me to be the best student I can be, my friends who have supported me along the way, and the coaches who have instilled the principles of hard work that I will carry on with me,” said Shores.

“And other than swimming as my favorite activity, my favorite academic subject the past two years has been IB English. Being part of such a rigorous program has really emphasized the importance of time management. Mr. Rice, my English teacher and the IB coordinator, goes above and beyond to make sure that everyone is on track. I truly feel prepared for college because of his class and guidance,” said Shores.

Born and raised in Hickory, Shores attended Oakwood Elementary and Grandview Middle School before attending Hickory High. “The best part about participating in athletics at Hickory High was the opportunity to represent my school, my community—and making them proud,” said Shores.

As for future goals at Emory University, Shores hopes to win a National Championship. “I have plenty of work ahead, but I look forward to carrying on the name!” she said.


(Photos/post by Beverly Snowden, HPS director of communications)

Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2020 Intrado Corporation. All rights reserved.