Wayland Baptist Adds Jonathan Darnell to Class of 2021


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Jonathan Darnell, a Scholastic All-American from Artesia, N.M., has agreed to join the Wayland Baptist swim team this coming fall.

“We are very excited to have Jonathan join our program,” WBU coach Alyson Hannan said. “He will make an immediate impact at the national level. His current times have him the top 16 in the nation this year. Jonathan will also give our backstroke and butterfly some much-needed depth. He is a very talented athlete and we are very excited to see what he can do next year.”

Darnell began swimming and competing at age 10 with the Artesia Swim Club and competed in New Mexico age-level state meets every year. In 2016, he won High Point at the New Mexico Short Course Championships and qualified for Western Senior Zones as a 16- and 17-year-old. As a 17 year old, he finished second in the 100-meter backstroke and fourth in 200 backstroke and 100 butterfly.

He joined the Artesia High School swim team as an eighth grader and qualified for the New Mexico High School State Swimming and Diving Championships every year in multiple events. As a freshman he finished sixth in the 100 backstroke and 16th in the 100 fly, as a sophomore finished second in the 100 backstroke and third in the 100 fly, and as a junior finished second in the 100 backstroke and fourth in the 100 fly.

Darnell is a leader of the First Baptist Church youth group and has participated in several mission trips. He is president of the Artesia National Honor Society and serves as a Big Brother to a fifth grader in the Big Brother/Big Sister program. He also is a junior Lion for the Artesia Lions Club.

“We are very excited to welcome Jonathan to the WBU swim family,” Hannan said.

Darnell is the eighth recruit and fifth male to sign with WBU swimming this year, joining Daric Sundeen, a flyer, backstroker and freestyler from Golden, Colo.; Alan Senn, a distance swimmer from Albuquerque, N.M.; Colton Wyatt, a sprint freestyler from North Richland Hills; Sarah Grace Stephenson, a freestyler and flyer from Round Rock; Albany McDonald, a distance freestyler from Portland; Cameron Cardenas, a breaststroker and freestyler from Georgetown; and Kenzie Crews, a sprint freestyler from Fort Worth.

The Pioneer men finished sixth in the NAIA last season, matching their best finish ever.

Wayland Baptist University contributed this report. 

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