Describe the qualities that your program is looking for in a potential student-athlete?
We like to tout “Family” and show it when recruits visit. I believe it is genuine; we develop that sense from day one and do many things that fosters this. Our best recruits also need to come because this is a good academic fit – the University of Rhode island offers unique strong programs in those fields, i.e., Marine Biology, Chinese, Pharmacy. This is a developing program, therefore swimmers and divers who feel that this is a place where they can come in immediately contribute, and want to contribute, works for us.
Could you give an example of a current or former player who exceeded your expectations, highlighting the reasons that player excelled?
Lilli Falconer, ’11, came to us from Chicago, with good times – 1 or 2 URI Varsity record times. She came from a small high school (Latin School of Chicago) and club program. Last year Lilli won two events at our conference meet, making NCAA ‘B’ cuts in both IM’s, and was named ‘Performer of the Meet’ at the Atlantic Tens. She currently holds ten varsity records at the University of Rhode Island.
Maura Zaneski, ’10, came to us from Waterford, CT, with times that would have discouraged most swimmers from even trying out for the team. She came from a small high school program. Last year Maura swam on four of relays at the Conference Meet, setting four URI Varsity Records. Her 800 Free Relay got third place. She dropped six seconds in the 100 Freestyle and fifteen seconds in the 200 Freestyle.