One can find water anywhere in the world, whether it’s an ocean, a lake, a pond or a pool. The pool at Keene State College is what connects Randy Dunton, a junior from St. Cloud, Florida and Logan Duffley, a sophomore from Memphis, Tennessee, to Shahar Resman, a sophomore from Ashdod, Israel.
The three young men mentioned belong to the KSC Men’s Swimming and Diving Team, and have traded in the warm weather for the snow, for many reasons. But the pool, for head coach Jack Fabian and team members, is what has kept them here.
According to Duffley, he began swimming his senior year of high school and was offered the chance to swim at Drury University in Missouri. From there, his college swimming career took off. After spending spring break with his cousin at KSC, he decided to transfer.
“My cousin’s spring break had just ended, so me and my uncle helped move him in and I just fell in love with the campus, I checked out the pool and said, ‘That’s a nice pool’ so I thought why not apply and see if I get in,” Duffley said.
Since Duffley is new to swimming, he said he really appreciates Fabian’s advice and the high-tech equipment that the team uses in the pool.
“He’s really helped me improve my stroke—one thing we use is a vasa machine, pretty much a treadmill for swimmers. You lie on your belly and have paddles in your hands and you can mimic swimming above land. He also brings in an underwater camera so we can see our form when we dive off the block,” Duffley said.
Like Logan, it was family that brought Dunton to KSC. In seventh grade, Dunton began accompanying his father to New England to visit his grandparents in the winter.
“I loved winter when I would visit, and I always wanted snow, so I guess I just wanted to see what it would be like living here full -time,” Dunton said.
Dunton saw this as a perfect opportunity to further his education and pursue his passion for swimming.
“I kind of lucked into having Jack as a coach. He focuses on the smaller aspects of the sport that normally people take for granted like cool downs and warm-ups. Maybe it’s because he has a doctorate in molecular biology, but he’s very scientific and to me, a math major, it just makes more sense. Like, last week he was telling us about lactic acid that builds up after a race and how to recover from it,” Dunton said.
Fabian has many academic achievements, such as his bachelors in biology and doctorate in molecular biology from the State University of New York at Buffalo. It is his achievements at KSC that are record-breaking. Fabian is a three-time winner of the Little Eastern Conference Coach of the Year award, has produced over 30 All-American Athletes and four New England Intercollegiate Swimming and Diving Association Championships.
But outside the KSC pool, Fabian is a personal open-water coach. Fabien attended the national team coaching conference the last three years and trained potential Olympic swimmers in the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.
It was five years ago when Fabian and Resman first met at a race in Argentina.
“He asked me what I was doing after high school and I told him I had to go to the army, but after I got out I would send him an email or something,” Resman said.
After three years in the army, the email was sent and Resman was on his way from Israel to Keene. Resman has no family in Keene or in the New England area; it was purely Fabian’s coaching skills that brought him to campus.
While staring at his Russia Olympics iPhone case Resman explained why Fabian has captured his attention.
“He is one of the best coaches in the nation, I met his daughter at the race in Argentina and she is really good and is most likely going to the Olympics, and I want to go to the Olympics as well and compete for Israel.”
Although Resman enjoys the mile and relay events in the KSC pool, he is actually more comfortable in open water.
“I’m a distance swimmer, and an open water race is two hours long and 10 km (6 miles) long. In a pool you can tell who is going to win. In open water race there are so many things around you like sometimes there will be jellyfish, sharks, waves and warm water changes to cold water. You have to be smart because its not obvious who’s going to win,” Resman said.
Resman believes that a swimmer and his coach should have trust.
When Fabian approached him he said, “‘Give me the opportunity to train you and just trust me and everything will be okay’ and that’s what I do.”
Although KSC’s swim team has members from all over the country, many of them share something: a connection to their coach, who seems to know how to identify with each individual no matter where he or she is from. Together this makes the team strong, winning eight out of the nine meets.
They also competed Valentine’s Day weekend at New England’s, a meet which determined who will attend Nationals in Indianapolis over spring break.
Kendall Pope can be contacted at email@example.com