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NORTH CAROLINA: SWIMMER WITH BLOOD DISORDER WINS STATE MEET

February 18, 2015; Posted by: WeBleed staff

Teenager with ITP wins state swimming championships.

Nathaniel Hartley, a a 6-foot-5 sophomore from Gaston Day School in North Carolina, recently won two individual state titles at the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association 1A/2A state swimming championships, setting a meet record in one of them.

“People stop what they’re doing and watch him swim,” Gaston Day coach Dee-Dee Stilphen said in an article by Phillip Gardner of the Gaston Gazette. “He just tears everybody up. This is a swimmer that has Olympic potential. No one touches him. … It wasn’t even a race. That’s how phenomenal he is.”

Hartley does all of this while also having the blood disorder  idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) – a disorder commonly associated withhas an excessively low level of platelets. Due to his ITP, Phillip was forced to try something new, and had to give up his love of contact sports at a young age.  Swimming became his calling card.

“I wanted to know what sport I could do and swimming was the only choice,” said Hartley. “It’s the sport I love and I wouldn’t want to do anything else…I’m hoping to get a good scholarship out of it and have a wide variety of schools I can attend.”

You can watch his record setting race below.  Congrats to Nathaniel on a great meet!

Photo Credit – Nathaniel Hartley

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