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JHS alum Isabella Cothern earns another All-American honor

Jonesboro High alum Bella Cothern is a sophomore swimmer at Arkansas.
Jonesboro High alum Bella Cothern is a sophomore swimmer at Arkansas.(Source: Razorback Athletics)
Published: May. 31, 2022 at 5:55 PM CDT|Updated: 49 minutes ago
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Isabella Cothern had a decorated swimming career at Jonesboro High. The multi-event state champion signed with Arkansas in 2019.

Three years later, Bella is making waves with the Razorbacks. “So I do sprint freestyle and sprint breaststroke,” Cothern said. “And the relays that I do are also sprint free, so I’ll be doing the same kind of events, just in different types of ways.”

Razorback head swimming coach Neil Harper is thrilled with Cothern’s progress; “She learned a lot that freshman year, and made incredible goals and commitments this time last year, last spring, what we wanted to do. Committed to being great last summer, and set up our goals for the fall and the spring. And carried it out pretty good and was a great team leader this year. As she has improved individually in her events, in the 50 and the 100 free, in the 100 breast, and swam a few other events for us. So that allows us to put her in position to help out our freestyle relays, our medley relays.”

She won 8 individual events this past season. Cothern competed in some of the biggest stages in swimming: The U.S. Open, the SEC Championships, and the NCAA Championships.

“I didn’t do as well as I wanted to my freshman year,” Cothern added. “So I wasn’t fully confident in myself until I really got to the first travel meet of the season. And I was like oh, okay, I’ve done the work, like I’m ready to go. And so when I finally realized I was going to go to NCAAs, it was just a dream. It was cool being there, being able to be a part of it. Because you see when you’re younger, you look at all these older kids. And you think it’s so cool, and you think you’ll never be able to get there. But it was just a really cool experience.”

She was a part of a Razorback squad that finished 15th nationally in the 400 freestyle relay. That mark meant All-American honors for the former Lady Hurricane.

Cothern earned another national accolade. She was named a First Team Scholar All-American by the College Swimming & Diving Coaches Association of America. The honor goes to student-athletes that record a 3.5 GPA or higher and earned qualifying standards for the NCAA Championships.

Bella now looks to build off of a banner season. “I’ll be here all summer working hard. Because last summer I set myself up really really well for the next season. So I’ll just be training and working as hard as I can to set new goals for next season. So definitely to make an individual event for NCAAs. And then also to get top 8 at SECs. That’s another one of my goals.”

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