BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. – She’s a California-native, but North-Central West Virginia will always have her heart.

Bridgeport senior swimmer, Hope Rieser, says she fell in love with the sport of swimming after she moved to West Virginia. It’s how she initially making friends, she says.

Swimming has not only made a big impact on her, but she’s left a big enough impact in the sport that she will continue doing it after she graduates — both as a coach, and as an athlete.

Rieser signed, Friday, to join the Fairmont State swim program, following a successful end to an up and down 2021 season. The great ending, though, wasn’t without some adversity.

“This year, I was actually quarantined the day before regionals. So, to lose that opportunity to compete individually at regionals was heart breaking. But to hear that we were able to compete in those relays was a second chance that we didn’t expect to get,” said Rieser at her signing on Friday. “And to finally place at states, and walk out with my team and people that I started swimming with, it was amazing. It was something that I wouldn’t want to change for anything.”

Rieser is not only a good swimmer, but good in her community, too. Rieser will be a coach this summer for the Lake Floyd Swim Team in Harrison County, which she says is a group that made a big impact in her life, and helped her fall in love with the sport.

Riser also said that Fairmont State was the right choice for her because she plans to major in nursing with a specific emphasis that hits close to home.