Alex Swindle: Why I Chose Vandy

It can be hard to find the perfect mix of academics and athletics. But at Vanderbilt, Alex Swindle found a perfect fit.

Alex is currently tied for the state lead in the indoor girls pole vault. She set that mark at the Music City HS Indoor Invite earlier this month.

During her next step, she'll have many more opportunities to vault in her hometown

"Vanderbilt was the best fit for me as it will allow me to continue competing in a great conference while also receiving a great education," Alex told us in an interview this week.

"It checked of all of the things I was looking for in my future school. It also allows me to remain close to my family and remain in my home town."

Alex's visit to Vanderbilt made a big impact. She was impressed with the overall atmosphere around the team -- including the athletes and facilities.

"The deciding factor for me was the environment I experienced during my official visit," she said. "Not only are the facilities and school impressive but I also greatly enjoyed the girls on the team."

The running theme the whole time? Academics.

Vanderbilt's first-class academic support center blew her away. That was a major selling point for Alex, who also visited Dartmouth.

"I was impressed by the many ways Vanderbilt works with their athletes through tutoring and academic support," she said. "My favorite part about Vanderbilt is how it will allow me to be well rounded and participate in many things while also being an athlete. Vandy stood out to me because of their strong athletics in combination with academics as well as their presence in a very competitive conference."

Alex will decide on a major when she gets closer to her first day of class. But she's focused on something in the business college.

And first she has to finish out her senior season at Brentwood Academy

A season she knows her future coaches will be watching.

"This track season my greatest aim is to pass 12 feet 6 inches in the pole vault which has always been a goal of mine," she said. "The coaches were great throughout the recruiting process which greatly influenced my decision. I am excited to be coached by coach Humphreys who was a great vaulter himself."