The Keene State men’s and women’s swim and dive teams recently welcomed 14 new recruits to their teams. Thirteen of these recruits have committed to come to Keene State and will be first-years in the fall.
Christopher Woolridge, the head coach of the swim and dive teams, said in an email interview, “I am looking forward to getting to know the new swimmers and divers and to help them transition to KSC students. I am also looking forward to helping them navigate their first college season and improve on their times and scores. First-year students always bring a lot of energy to the team, so I anticipate we will have a pretty exciting practice environment in the fall.”
Usually, the team would have done a few recruitment activities to help the new recruits get to know the team a little better. This was, however, canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite this, Woolridge said, “As for recruitment activities, we are doing a weekly incoming student-athlete Zoom so we can start to get to know each other for those who are already committed.”
Junior breaststroker Gerald Barth, who will be a captain for the men’s team next year, said, “I would say that I am excited for the new class of first-years to begin this next step of their swimming career. I am happy that both teams are receiving a healthy amount of young talent [four men, 10 women].”
Barth reflected on his time as an incoming first-year
“As a rising senior looking back, I remember being pretty intimidated by the team,” said Barth. “That didn’t last long because the upperclassmen and the class above us made me feel right at home, through team breakfasts after a Saturday morning practice or even just hanging out at someone’s house with the whole team.”
Logan Phillips, a rising Keene State first-year and swim and dive recruit, said, “I’m really looking forward to having a longer season and more pool time because, in high school, the season was pretty short, barely even three months, and pool time was limited. So basically I’m looking forward to swimming more. Secondly, I’m really excited to be on a bigger team. I look forward to meeting everyone and making new friends and having older teammates to look up to and learn from. Lastly, I’m really looking forward to going to big meets and racing against a bunch of fast swimmers.”
Phillips said, “I decided to pick Keene State because it has everything I want. It has a great music department, a great swim team and it is close to home. Well, it is my hometown after all. And when I’d be practicing for the Keene High swim team, we’d sometimes see the college team and I’d always think to myself that they were having such a great time and that I wanted to be on a team like that. So it only felt right to go to Keene State.”
In terms of meeting the rest of the team, Phillips said, “So far the first-year recruits haven’t officially met the rest of the team yet, but when I told Chris I was pretty set on going to Keene State and he told the team, the ones I’d see around during my high school practice introduced themselves and that was nice. The team also made a post on their Instagram page with all the incoming freshmen and I thought that was super cool. I just can’t wait to meet everyone and start swimming.”
Patrick Doyle declined to comment.
Kim Theleen did not respond to the interview request.
Samantha Dickinson did not respond to the interview request.
Kristyn Simoneau did not respond to the interview request.
Tom Benoit can be reached at