August 3, 2011

Greyhounds Welcome Eight New Swimmers to the Block

Worcester, Mass. -- The Assumption College Women’s Swimming and Diving program is proud to introduce eight new student-athletes for fall 2011. “We’re still a young program and getting stronger and stronger each year,” said Stuart Cromarty, head coach and also an Assumption College biology professor. Greyhound women’s swimming and diving began a transition year in 2007 as a swim club and became a full-fledged NCAA Division II team in fall 2008.

“As we improve our program, more student-athletes are visiting and interested in swimming for Assumption, and we’re attracting swimmers from farther and farther away,” continued Cromarty. In just three short years, the team moved from 20th to third place in the New England Intercollegiate Swimming and Diving Association (NEISDA) Championships with many of the swimmers setting new personal and team records. “This year we have an excellent group of scholar-athletes who, along with the returning upperclassmen, will set us up for a great season.”

Christa Bodemann (Westford, Mass.; Westford Academy)
Ironically, Bodemann is new to the sport of swimming—her only exposure to the sport, prior to entering Westford Academy, was swimming for a summer country club. She quickly excelled in butterfly events, however, and by her sophomore year, Bodemann was already a team standout, qualifying for the Division 1 state meet in the 100 fly and going on to break an eight-year school record in the event. Westford Swimming coach Caitlin Klick noted, “In a sport where too many athletes are burned out before even reaching the college level, Christa is posting the times of a veteran swimmer while still possessing the drive of an age grouper.”

Coach Cromarty: “Christa is primarily a fly sprint specialist, but with the right college conditioning and practicing of the 200 fly in dual meet action, we will also have her swimming the 200 fly at championships.”

Margaret Colman (Tewksbury, Mass.; Central Catholic High School)
At Central Catholic, where she swam for coach Carlton Cronin, Colman shined in the 50, 100 and 200 freestyle events. A varsity swimmer all four years, Colman was most improved swimmer in one of her last dual meets where she dropped more than 10 seconds off her 200 freestyle time.

Coach Cromarty: “Margaret has tremendous potential since she has never swum in a year-round program.  We expect her to compete mainly at the short to mid-distance free events.”

Samantha Kruger (Middleton, Mass.; Masconomet Regional High School)
Swimming since the age of 3, when she jumped into a friend’s backyard pool, Kruger never looked back. She’s been swimming competitively with the North Shore Sharks (Beverly, Mass.) for the last 10 years and swam all four years on her high school’s varsity team—in her senior year as captain.

Coach Cromarty: “Sam was MVP in her senior year at Masconomet.  An all-round swimmer who brings tremendous enthusiasm to her swimming—I look forward to her swimming a number of events for us, including 100 and 200 breaststroke and 500 freestyle.”

Katherine Medeiros (Mattapoisett, Mass.; Bishop Stang High School)
Medeiros swam for Bishop Stang High School and South Coast Aquatics under the direction of coach Dave Ponte. She was named 2010 Standard-Times Girls Swimmer of the Year and Bishop Stang’s most valuable swimmer in 2008 to 2010 and was also a MIAA High School sectional and state qualifier. Medeiros had 77 first- and second-place finishes throughout her four-year career at Bishop Stang and finished with a total of 915.75 points, fourth in all-time points in history at Bishop Stang.  In her senior year alone, she led Stang in scoring with 277 points, including 20 first-places finishes.

Coach Cromarty: “Katherine is a versatile swimmer that will make an immediate impact in our sprint fly, back and freestyle events.”

Elise Prayson (Dayton, Ohio; Archbishop Alter High School)
Committing early to swim for Assumption College, Prayson signed a National Letter of Intent last November. She swam for Archbishop Alter with coach Barb Raizze and YMCA Key Swim Club coach Eric Wentzel. Prayson is talented both in and out of the water, with an academic GPA of 3.9 in high school, Elise will enter Assumption in the honors program and major in biology. Her strengths in the pool are breaststroke, freestyle, and individual medley (IM) events, and she was a four-time OHSAA high school sectional and state qualifier in the 100 breast and 200 IM. “When she has to be at her best, her performances have been clutch and her relay efforts have also been crucial when helping her teams qualify for the OHSAA state meet,” said Wentzel.

Coach Cromarty: “Elise brings strength to our program as a top breaststroker as well as the sprint free events and 200 IM.” 

Sarah Jane Pucci (North Haven, Conn.; North Haven High School)
In addition to her North Haven High School team, Pucci swam for Hamden-North Haven Sea Dragons and Hamden Hall Aquatic Club. She competed in the 2010 YMCA Nationals Long Course meet in both the 50- and 100-meter freestyle events. In high school, Pucci was a sectional qualifier each year in the 100 and 200 freestyle and represented her team at the state finals as part of the 200 freestyle relay. “Sarah is totally committed to swimming,” said North Haven coach Ken Pierson. “That commitment has always shown in Sarah’s performances as she came here as a freshman and you would have thought she’d been on the team for years based on how she did.” As a junior, Pucci was voted most valuable player and went on to captain the team in her senior year.

Coach Cromarty: “Sarah will most likely swim all sprint freestyle events including the 200, 400 and 800 free relays, but she is also very good at the mid- to distance events.  She also swims the 100 and 200 backstroke events. Her commitment to swimming will help her realize her goals at Assumption.”

Nicole Stantial (Peabody, Mass.; Peabody Veterans Memorial High School)
Stantial is a strong student-athlete. She maintained an academic GPA of 3.8 in high school and captained her high school team as a junior and senior. Stantial will be entering in the honors program at Assumption and will major in biology. Interestingly she was also a teammate of freshman Samantha Kruger with the North Shore Sharks. 

Coach Cromarty: “Nicole swims a variety of events including fly, breast and short freestyle events. She has tremendous potential to excel in a number of events and I look forward to coaching her in the fall.”

Danielle Tagarelis (North Andover, Mass.; North Andover High School)
Tagarelis joined her high school team as a freshman, where she swam for coach Chris Krueger, and was voted rookie of the year. She later became captain in her junior year. A MIAA sectional qualifier three consecutive years, Tagarelis also qualified for the Southern Zone Western Sectional meet in Houston, Texas. She also swam for Magnus Aquatics-North under the direction of Mike Spring, and is currently swimming for Crimson before coming to Assumption this fall. 

Coach Cromarty: “Danielle can swim all the events but will primarily help us in the mid- to distance events, but don’t count her out for the 200 breaststroke and 200 and 400 IM.”