Champion swimmer to be inducted into Quaker Valley Hall of Fame

Nathan Smith
| Wednesday, July 10, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Courtney (South) Schorr was looking for a sport to get involved in her freshman year at Quaker Valley and decided to give swimming a shot.

That turned out to be a pretty good choice.

The 2013 inductee to the Quaker Valley Sports Hall of Fame finished her high school career by winning three PIAA titles before continuing to swim at Notre Dame.

“I am very honored to be selected for the Hall of Fame,” Schorr said. “I was actually very surprised. Having young children and being an attorney, I don't get much time to look back and think about what I did 19 years ago.

“To know someone remembered those accomplishments and waned to recognize them, I felt honored.”

While many successful swimmers begin training at a young age, Schorr didn't have a deep background in the sport.

Her experience in swimming was competing with the Edgewood Club during her summers. But once she got a taste of success as a freshman, she was hooked.

Schorr was a four-year member of the swim team and served as captain her senior season. The 1993-94 campaign was the highlight of her high school career as she captured three PIAA Class AA championships to go along with a pair of WPIAL titles. She finished with a time of 24.24 in the 50 freestyle and 51.98 in the 100 freestyle at the PIAA meet.

The 200-yard freestyle team finished second at WPIALs to Moon but won the PIAA title with a time of 1:41.02.

Along the way she set new WPIAL records in the 50 and 100 freestyle and a PIAA record in the 100.

Her performance in the 100 earned her All-American status.

Outside of the pools of the WPIAL and PIAA, South competed at the U.S. Open and U.S. Senior Nationals for U.S. swimming. She was named Female Swimmer of the Year for Allegheny Mountain Swimming — the regional body for U.S. Swimming — during the 1993-94 season.

With a 4.4 GPA as a senior, Schorr had plenty of choices of where to continue her education and swimming career, including Northwestern, Villanova and Virginia. But she chose Notre Dame.

Getting involved in the sport at the college level introduced Schorr to a new level of training.

“There were some things that were different for me,” Schorr recalled. “I was swimming a lot more than I ever did. I didn't do too many two-a-day practices at Quaker Valley. At Notre Dame, we swam four mornings a week, five afternoons a week, plus a three-hour practice on Saturday mornings.

“We also did a lot of exercising with weights and calisthenics. We lifted weights two or three times a week, which was a big change for me.”

The hard work paid off though as Schorr helped the Irish win Big East championships in her junior and senior years.

Schorr — with teammates Alison Newell, Allison Hollis and Linda Gallo — won the Big East 800 freestyle relay title in 1997, with a time of 7:25.69, setting a new Notre Dame record. She finished the season with the Irish's best time in the 50-yard (23.93) and 100-yard (51.60) freestyle.

“Swimming is a really individual sport,” Schorr said. “But we were pretty close as a team. So winning the relay with the others was thrilling.”

After graduating cum laude from Notre Dame, she worked in consulting for two years in Washington, D.C. She attended the University of Virginia School of Law from 2000-03 and graduated in the top 25 percent of her class.

She currently practices law in the Complex Commercial Litigation Group with the law firm of McGuire-Woods in Tyson Corners, Va.

She married her husband Bill Schorr in 2004 and has three children — Abby, 6, Will, 3, and Connor, 20 months.

Nathan Smith is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at or via Twitter @NSmith_Trib.

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