A Pool of Scholars
In addition to setting new records in the water, the Washington College men’s and women’s swim teams sent a combined total of eleven student-athletes to the Centennial Conference Academic Honor Roll team.
Jenni Clune ’18, a biology and psychology double major, and Julia Portmann ’19, a biology and environmental science double major, delivered top times in the water and were named to the Academic All-Centennial team in addition to the Academic Honor Roll team. Clune earned first-team All-Centennial honors in the 100 breaststroke and honorable mention in four other races. Portmann earned All-Centennial honorable mention in the 500 freestyle, as well as the 400 and 800 freestyle relay.
“I have worked hard in and out of the pool all season, but I definitely would not be where I am if it weren’t for my amazing teammates pushing me through thousands upon thousands of yards of practice over the last several months,” Portmann stated. “From here, I intend to keep on training and work harder and smarter in and out of the pool so that I can do even better next year.”
In order to be eligible for the Academic Honor Roll, each student-athlete must be at least a sophomore and hold a minimum 3.4 cumulative grade-point average. To be selected as a part of the Academic All-Centennial team, a student-athlete needs to earn both a spot to the Academic Honor Roll, and receive All-Centennial conference accolades.
“Obviously it took a lot of hard work both in the pool and weight room, but also in the class room for the academic side,” Clune reflected. “I think the main key to my success was to be mentally tough throughout workouts as well as keep my focus on what I wanted to achieve instead of dwelling on anything negative.”
First-year Head Coach Matt Harris is proud of how his team has embraced the student-athlete lifestyle. When asked about Portmann. Harris said, “She always has a really hard event load every meet, and she never complains about swimming those hard events for us, so her receiving this is very indicative of her overall attitude to the sport.”
Harris spoke of Clune with the same positivity. “She kept getting faster throughout the season and her individual win in the 100 breaststroke really helped us to jump as high as we did in the conference.”
The men’s team sent four Shoremen to the All-Centennial Conference team. Pat Elliott ’17, Kevin Mackenzie ’18, Cody Weiler ’18, and Aidan Sullivan ’20 received the honors. Of the four, Elliott is the lone senior who will graduate this spring, leaving the swimming program with a remarkable legacy.
Elliott holds five school records, was a six-time Shoreman of the week, and was awarded the 2016 Thomas Reeder Spedden Medal for his academic and athletic accomplishment during his time at WC. He hopes his legacy will leave an ever-lasting impact on the program.
“Kevin, Aidan, and Cody sent me out in the best way possible. My hope for the three guys who get to keep swimming is that they improve upon our performance and take WC swimming to the next level,” Elliott stated. “I think in my four years we grew as a team and in my senior year I really learned what a team effort is all about.”