Jamie Minnich McDaniel
Jamie had a very unusual but successful athletic and academic career. She began setting swimming records at the Ashland YMCA at the young age of eight and she continued swimming for the Y program until the eighth grade when she felt she needed a break and took a year off. She began her high school career in 1990. She was very active, participating in three sports and becoming a member of Sweet 16 Dance Team.
As a Freshman, Jamie became a recorder holder in cross-country, along with qualifying for the state swim meet in the 50 free and the state track and field championships in the 1600-meter run. She continued her swimming and track through her sophomore year, once again qualifying for the state swim meet in Canton, Ohio in the 50 free and the 100 free, along with setting school records in track and field in the 800 meter run and the 1600 meter run.
Jamie’s Junior year saw her focus strictly on swimming along with participation wit the dance team. During her Junior year she earned All District honors and placed 6th in the free and 9th in the 100 free at the state swim championships.
Her senior year she earned several honors as most valuable swimmer awards at several invitational swim meets. She was District Champion in the 50 free and 100 free upsetting the returning state champion from Mansfield, Ohio. The following week she became runner-up in the state swim championships in the 50 free and the 100 free. She concluded her high school career being named Ashland High School Female Athlete of the Year in 1993.
The summer between her Senior year of high school and her first year at the University of Tennessee, Jamie was asked to participate in an invitational swim meet in Indianapolis, Indiana. Many of the top swimmers in the United States, including current Olympians competed in the Olympic pool exhibition meet.
In the fall of 1993, Jamie began her collegiate swimming career at the University of Tennessee. As a Freshman Jamie was a two-time national qualifier in the NCAA Division I competition. Her sophomore year at Tennessee Jamie again qualified and earned two All-American honors. At the conclusion of her second year at Tennessee, she met her husband Jeff McDaniel, also a swimmer at UT. They both left school and moved to Indiana, and later had their first child, Keegan Lynne.
After a year off, both Jamie and Jeff decided to return to school to finish their college work, Jeff returning to UT and Jamie enrolling at Ashland University. Being a full time student and a mother, Jamie joined the Ashland University swim program and led them to two top ten team finishes. While swimming for Ashland she was a 12 time NCAA Division II qualifier, a 9 time NCCA Division II All-American, and became the record holder in the NCAA II for the 50 free, and became the first female in Division II to ever break 23 (22.98). She also became the record holder in the NCAA Division II 100 free (50.26).
Her Senior year, the NCAA Division II, voted her Female Swimmer of the Year. Participating in the GLIAC swim championships, Jamie set meet records in the 50 free, 100 free, and 200 free, and 400 free relay. Ashland University honored her by naming her their Female Athlete of the Year in 1998. She was tabbed as a NCAA Academic All-American in 1998.
Probably Jamie’s most prestigious honor came after her graduation from Ashland University in May 1998, when in January of 1999, the NCAA selected her to receive on of the “Top Eight Awards”, the first ever received by an Ashland University student. This award was presented to Jamie along with seven other recipients, as one of the top eight academic athletes in the United States, inclusive of all NCAA Division I, II, and III athletes. It was presented at the NCAA convention in San Antonio, Texas. The award was based on her academic performance (3.642 GPA) and her many athletic achievements.
Nominator: Ron Whitehil