Tommie Dillione - Council Rock North senior is headed to Penn State to continue her swimming career.
Tommie Dillione - Council Rock North senior is headed to Penn State to continue her swimming career. (Steve Sherman)

After dominating freestyle swimming in the Suburban One League (SOL) National Conference for the past four years, Council Rock North senior Tommie Dillione has decided to take her talents to Penn State.

A highly-recruited swimmer who medaled in two events in states last year as a junior, Dillione also seriously considered going to the University of Carolina.

She's more than happy to remain put in the Keystone State, however, she said.

"I couldn't be happier with my choice,' said Dillione. "I'm really excited to swim there for the next four years.'

Dillione is ecstatic at joining a Big 10 power like the Nittany Lions, who usually rank among the top 25 programs in the nation every year.

"I'm real excited to be a part of that and help them to get better and better and improve over the next couple of years,' she said. "I know they want to be at the top in the Big 10 and keep doing better.

"I'm excited to help them do that.'

After capturing Suburban One League gold in both the 100 and 200 freestyle events, Dillione took District One first place medals in the 100 (1:50.49) and the 500 freestyle (4:57.16) events Feb. 28 — March 1 at LaSalle University.

Two years ago as a sophomore, Dillione captured a District One title in the 100 freestyle.

Last year as a junior, Tommie came back and captured district titles in both the 200 and 500 freestyle, breaking the district record in the 200 free. In states, she grabbed a runner-up medal in the 500 free while taking third place in the 200 free at the PIAA State championships, earning NISCA All-American honors in both events.

In December, Dillione began her current campaign by breaking her own school record in the 50 free at a dual meet at Upper Dublin. Her time of 24.09 broke her own previous mark of 24.51.

On Feb. 15 at the SOL National Conference Meet at the CR North Natatorium, she dominated the intermediate freestyle events once again, grabbing gold medals in the 100 and 200 free while anchoring both the 200 medley relay and the 200 free relay events which were both won by the Lady Indians.

One reason the Lions won Dillione's heart over the Tar Heels was the simple fact that State College is much closer to home than Chapel Hill, making it easier for Dillione's family members to come see Tommie in NCAA action.

"I got a better feel for the school when I was there seeing it up close,' she said. "It just all felt right and it came together.'

Dillione made a verbal commitment to Penn State in October and signed a Letter of Intent in November. She says she likes the lay of the land in State College.

"I like the way everything is close together and everything is its own little happy valley,' she said.

"I fell in love with the campus. It felt right walking around and I enjoyed it. I liked everything about it.'

Also a club swimmer for Eastern Express at The College of New Jersey, Dillione says she's not done yet.

"It's my senior season and I have some pretty big goals in mind. I've been pretty focused, she said.

"Over the past year, I've been really motivated. It's my senior season and I know what I want to do.'

From the looks of things, it looks like she's doing it.

NOTES: Dillione leads a group of 16 athletes announcing their college commitments on March 6.

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COUNCIL ROCK NORTH COMMITS

Athlete, Sport College or University

LeighAnn Bertolet Soccer Fairleigh Dickinson University

Bailey Bigler Softball Notre Dame University

Seamus Bishof Football Indiana University of PA

Tyler Callender Baseball University of Delaware

Tommie Dillione Swimming Penn State University

Madison Gouza Field Hockey Temple University

Kaelyn Heinicke Track University of Richmond

Erica Herr Golf Wake Forest University

Brandon McCredie Swimming West Chester University

Matt Renck Baseball University of Pittsburgh

Noa Jade Rothstein Crew University of Michigan

Rob Simmons Track University of Alaska

Aden Tully Baseball East Stroudsburg University

Nickie Van Thuyne Track Monmouth University

David Wilczynski Tennis Stanford University

Ross Wilson Track University of Pennsylvania