Swim-pressive siblings make ODU’s swimming center a gene pool

ODU swimmers Graydon and Jacqueline Tinneny

NORFOLK, Va. - Old Dominion University freshman Jacqueline Tinneny could've gone just about anywhere to swim collegiately.

"I went on recruiting visits to a bunch of schools up north, but then I realized I wanted to be closer to family," Tinneny told News 3.

She wanted to be closer to family. Really close. As in, the same team close.

"We've been swimming together almost our entire life," Graydon Tinneny, Jacqueline's brother, said.

ODU swimmers Graydon and Jacqueline Tinneny

And now, ODU's swimming and diving facility might as well be the Tinneny family gene pool, as Jacqueline and Graydon - siblings from Yorktown, are two of the Monarchs most-successful swimmers.

"They`re a great package," ODU head swimming and diving coach Carol Withus said. "Academics, too. They study hard - they`re here for a good reason. They have great purpose."

Close in age, but linked by long distance. Graydon is just 20 months older than Jacqueline and they swim the same events: distance. They're in the water a long time, and together - they've been in the water a long time. The brother and sister have been teammates long before they each won state championships for Grafton High School.

ODU swimmers Graydon and Jacqueline Tinneny

"We're not really sprinters," Jacqueline admitted while smiling. "We don't sprint very well. I was more middle distance and was convinced to try distance - then I stuck with it after that."

"She didn't really start off with distance, I've been distance my whole life," Graydon added.

The splash siblings agree it's cool to share a pool with family. But when it comes to being close, big bro is just fine exiting the pool the same way he entered the family: first.

ODU swimmers Graydon and Jacqueline Tinneny

"That's number one priority: I can't let her beat me," Graydon said.

"Oh, it definitely drives me," Jacqueline revealed. "We're always in the same group at practice, so I'm always trying to catch him."

Remember, Jacqueline chose ODU to be closer to family. Time and times will tell just how close.