WILLIAMSTOWN -- Purple Valley Aquatics, the new USA Swimming team at Williams College, has just completed a very successful debut season.
Started last August by Williams College coach Steve Kuster, his wife Kim, assistant coach Karrie Honecker, and board members Jennifer Bush, Janette Kessler Dudley, Carrie Ghidotti, and Jay Thoman, the team ended its first season with 45 registered swimmers. The board had hoped for at least 20 swimmers, so they were thrilled with the response from the community.
Remarkably, for its first season, Purple Valley sent a total of five swimmers to the 12 and Under New England Championships held Feb. 28 to March 3.
Swimmers who competed at the Upper Valley Aquatic Center in White River Junction Vermont were: Isaac Boyd (11), Ellie Field (12), Gigi French (12), Cole Kuster (11), Jonah McNair (10), and Carson Wickman (11).
Between them, the five swimmers competed in 27 events and took 15 top 10 places. Wickman had seven top 10 finishes including a third in the 100 back and a fifth in the 200 individual medley. Boyd and Kuster each had four top 10 finishes including a third in the 500 free for Kuster and a fourth in the 50 breast for Boyd.
Purple Valley also sent two swimmers to the 13-19 Age Group Championships on March 7 to 10. The swimmers who competed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge were: Jessie Tobin (13) and Logan Wickman (14).
Between them, the two swimmers competed in 13 events and took five top 10 finishes including a sixth in the 200 fly for Wickman and an eighth in the 100 free for Tobin. Tobin had three other top 10 finishes in the 200 and 400 individual medleys and the 500 free.
"I couldn’t be prouder of this entire team, how hard they worked, and how much they supported each other this season," Purple Valley head coach Steve Kuster said. "We are fortunate to have some very talented swimmers who represented us proudly at championships this past month. I, and the rest of the Purple Valley board, could not be more pleased with the success of our first season, both in and out of the pool."
Purple Valley Aquatics is a non-profit organization dedicated to developing accomplished swimmers from the pre-age group through college levels. Our goal is to create an exciting environment that not only provides excellent teaching, training and motivation of young athletes, but also cultivates a true enjoyment of the sport. Our coaches endeavor to instill in every team member an exceptional work ethic, a strong sense of self, the value of teamwork and sportsmanship, as well as personal achievement in and out of the pool. For more info: purplevalleyaquatics.org.