Cornerstone senior William Houghton has been swimming for nearly as long as he can remember, and even after his senior year on the Cornerstone swim team comes to a close, his competitive career won’t be finished yet. Houghton has officially signed to join the team at Carson-Newman University in Jefferson City, Tennessee, this fall.
“William is remarkable in the water," said Cornerstone head swim coach Courtney Beatty. "It is so exciting to watch him compete. He makes the 500 freestyle look effortless. We are so proud of the way he has taken time to mentor the younger swimmers both in the pool and out, giving advice on warm-ups before the meet as well as what to expect in high school classes.”
As a Cornerstone sophomore and as a senior, Houghton finished first in the GAPPS (Georgia Association of Private and Parochial Schools) state championship in the 500 freestyle.
Since then, Houghton, who also swims for Chattahoochee Gold, has had numerous swimming accomplishments. He placed 6th in the 1000 freestyle and 7th in the 500 freestyle at the Georgia Short Course State Championship in 2019. He was a AAA qualifier in the 200, 500, and 1000 freestyle, top 25 finalist in the 1000 freestyle, as well as a sectional qualifier in the 50, 100, 200, 500, and 1000 freestyle.
Carson-Newman University was a front runner for Houghton in the college selection process due to its nationally ranked business and communications program. In addition, Houghton was ultimately convinced by their Top 10 Division 2 Swim Program.
“Their aim is to be the best in and out of the pool, which I am all about,” said Houghton. “They focus on their swimmers’ career success just as intensely as their training. As my coaches say, 'A happy swimmer is a fast swimmer.'”
Houghton, who plans to major in communications and marketing, is most excited for the chance to improve on a big stage in the NCAA, with high hopes of a profitable career in the future.
Houghton emphasized that his success is attributed to his phenomenal coaching by Mark Schilling and his teammates in the Chattahoochee National Group.
“Mark has taught me more about my mind in the last two years than I even had the capability to understand at the time I joined,” Houghton said. “All the accolades mentioned above are a result of Coach Mark’s ability to believe in me, as he sharpened my understanding and ability in the sport. Of course a huge part of pushing oneself past the breaking point every day is having a group of people who want it as bad as you do. For that reason, I cannot thank my teammates enough who push me in practice every day and keep me focused and happy every day I walk in the door.”
Carson–Newman University, founded in 1851, is a private liberal arts university in Jefferson City, Tennessee.