When Luke Morneault signed a swimming scholarship to Colgate University, he completed a years-long journey and fulfilled one of his biggest goals.
Morneault, a recent graduate of Oconee County High School, officially signed to further his swimming career during the spring. He joined the Colgate swimming and diving team on a scholarship.
To celebrate the occasion, Morneault took part in a signing ceremony held at the high school. He was joined for the event by friends, family members and teammates.
Morneault said it was nice to bring together all of those who supported him to this point in his swimming and academic careers.
“It felt really good, to be honest,” Morneault said. “It really just means a lot to have all of your supporters around you for your big signing day. It really was nice to see all of them supporting me and helping me in my next step in the journey.”
Over the last three or four years, Morneault began the process of finding a path toward a collegiate career. He did so with some guidance from one of his coaches.
“One of my coaches swam at West Virginia and he really inspired me to work hard,” Morneault said. “His coaching helped me to decide that I wanted to swim in college.”
That coach was Robert Wylie.
Wylie, a fellow graduate of Oconee County High School, extended his career beyond the high school level when he joined the Mountaineers after graduating in 2016.
Considering he knew Wylie for a lengthy time and dreamed of competing in college for years, Morneault said he felt excited when the time came to formally sign to accept the scholarship offer from Colgate.
“It felt really good,” Morneault said. “I had talked to the coach and it was looking like I had a spot on the team, but making it official felt great. I was ecstatic about it because it's something I've wanted for so long and now I can finally have it.”
Before deciding on Colgate, though, Morneault went through the requisite recruiting process.
Though there was interest from other programs and he reached out to some programs on his own, Morneault could not land a scholarship offer he was comfortable accepting.
“Some other colleges tried to talk to me but I wasn't necessarily interested in all of those,” Morneault said. “I did try to reach out to some other schools but I didn't get responses back from all of them.”
But Morneault found a home at Colgate.
After talking this over with Colgate head coach Edward Pretre and a few current swimmers, Morneault knew the Raiders represented a great opportunity.
“I talked to the coach and some of the team members and they all seemed like really great people,” Morneault said. “Also, the academics are great. I really liked how they administer certain policies toward the student-athletes that really help them out. They give them an extra tutor, so it'll make going to school easier as well as it just seemed like a great experience. I guess I want to experience something new in life.”
As it pertains to his field of study, Morneault said he is undecided. He could possibly study biochemistry, he said.
Morneault knows exactly what he wants to achieve in the pool, though.
“I'm gonna try to make it to all the relay races,” he said. “Maybe that's too aspiring of a goal but I guess we will see that during the season. Also, I really want to try and make it to the NCAAs at least one or two years. I think that's a pretty good goal.”
Morneault hopes to accomplish a lot in the future as part of the Raiders team and then after his time in college is over.
No matter what comes next, though, Morneault feels good about what he’s accomplished so far as he prepares for the next phase in his life.
“I'd say that I left behind a decent career for the swim team,” Morneault said while reflecting on his career to this point. “I hope that I made an influence on some of the younger athletes. I definitely tried to push them when I would see them. I didn't necessarily go to that many Warrior practices because I was swimming with a club team, but when I did go to the practices, I would make sure to try to inspire other athletes. I hope that I left a good stamp on the next couple of years of the team.”