Class of 2011

Each school year, the Cruisers' graduating seniors each choose a charitable organization to represent their ideals, values and lives. With help from their teammates and coaches, the seniors raise funds throughout the year and make a donation to each of their organizations after graduation. The Class of 2011 will divide $2000 between their charities.

Congratulations to the Class of 2011! 

Akshay Bhaktwara - Salem High School

I joined the Cruiser’s swim team ten years ago when I wanted to take my swimming career to the next level.  I swam at Salem high school for all four years.  I will be attending U of M Dearborn next year to acquire a biomedical degree. My advice to the youth of the team is to stick with it no matter what.

I chose the American Red Cross due to all the help that they do around the world during disasters. 


Scott Carpenter - Salem High School

I started swimming the summer before 8th grade, and swam year-round after freshmen year.  After graduation, I was hired as a manager at Burton Hollow Swim Club, and I love it.  Soon I will attend Grand Valley honors college with a major in Biochemistry, a focus in pre-med, and a minor in something chemistry related.  My advice to underclassmen is to not complain and do the work.  Situations only get as bad as you make them out to be. 

Two of my good African-American friends are applying for money to this foundation.  I would love for them to get some,  so I figured the more money in the charity the more likely they’ll be chosen. 


Eli Cornblath - Ann Arbor Pioneer High School

I started swimming at age 12 at HVSC after a short-lived attempt at diving.  After swimming year-round USA swimming in AA, I joined PCC in April of my junior year. I also swam for Pioneer High School for four years and my senior year was captain and was voted most dedicated. I also qualified for the HS state meet for three straight years. I will attend the LSA Honors Program at the U of M in the fall. I am excited that I won a National Merit Scholarship, U of M Shipman Scholarship and a Rick Edwards Memorial Scholarship from the Michigan Interscholastic Swim Coaches Assocation (MISCA). My long-term plan is to become a doctor. I really appreciate the structure swimming has given my life as well as the work ethic it brought out in me. My advice to younger swimmers is to make sure you know why you are swimming and always have a purpose and this focus will help you be happier in the water.  

I chose SEED (Students Educating Each other about Diversity) because it is a program at the Neutral Zone in Ann Arbor that has lost a significant amount of funding due to budget cuts. It is one of very few programs in the country that allows high school students to facilitate and participate in training and personal dialogues about race, sex, gender, sexual orientation and religion to counter stereotypes and biased thinking. SEED runs diversity workshops for middle schools that I have helped facilitate for two years. The experience taught me to be more open-minded and thoughtful as well as more aware of the way our different social identities affect how we connect with other people.


Jacob Dillon - Canton High School

I started swimming in eighth grade, but I really committed to it when I started Cruisers after my freshman year. I swam year round until senior year. I would tell any underclassmen they are capable of much more than they think. Always try moving up to that next interval, and always give 100% of yourself, and expect 100% of others. Swimming taught me that I am capable of whatever I decide I want to do, and it only takes time and effort to excel. I'm going to Grand Valley University because of a few things: They have a great location, it's a well respected school, and it's just far away enough from home so that I can have my own life, but close enough that I can still get in touch with my family if need be.

I chose the International Peace Institute. I think it's fantastic that so many brave people are willing to put their lives on the line for us as soldiers, but I think its disgusting that they have to. Anything we could do to eliminate armed conflict would be beyond amazing.


Kait Dugas - Canton High School

I started swimming in the 7th grade at Discovery Middle School and joined PCC after my first season at Canton High School.  Swimming taught me how to set goals: from making varsity cuts to making the varsity team, from going to JO’s to becoming a captain, how to time manage, and how to be a leader.  Swimming has had a hugh impact on my life and I hope to keep it a part of my life in the years to come. I’m going to EMU in the fall where I will most likely major in PoliSci.  I hope to one day travel the world.  My advice to underclassmen is to work hard, stay determined, and pave your own path.

I chose to donate to the National Childhood Cancer Foundation because my grandfather died of cancer and no one, especially ones so young and full of potentional, should have to put up with that kind of suffering.


Kayla Eyster - Canton High School

I have been swimming for a very long time.  I swam at Discovery Middle School for two years and four years at Canton High School.   Next year I will be attending Baldwin Wallace College in Ohio and I plan on swimming.  My advice to underclassment would be to keep swimming and work hard but enjoy it and always have fun with it.

I chose to donate to the American Breast Cancer Foundation because I feel that this disease has affected many women’s lives and a cure needs to be found.


Catie Irwin - Canton High School

I started swimming in the 6th grade because I thought it would be fun and something new to try.  I swam all four years in high school at Canton and had only fun times.  Next year  I am going to attend Grand Valley State University and will swim on their team.  I plan on becoming a lawyer in the future.  My advice to underclassmen is to make sure to always have fun and work hard to fight through the stress of hard sets. 


I chose Forgotten Harvest because no one should go hungry, and this charity helps food banks distribute and feed the needy.



Alex Jouney - Plymouth High School

I am a graduating senior from Plymouth High School and started with Cruisers in 1999 and have been a part of the team on and off since then.  I swam Varsity for all four years of high shool, and qualified for states my Junior and Senior year.  I plan on swimming club next year and I am attending Grand Valley State University.  My advice to any swimmer would be to give 110% in practice everyday no matter what because it will pay off when taper comes around.

I chose to donate to the Salvation Army because there is an immediate repercussion of my actions at the thrift store.


Chris Krebs - Canton High School

I started swimming in the 9th grade at Canton High School.  After my first season I was hooked.  I continued swimming all through high school.  I have made many friends and had tons of fun.  Next fall I will be attending U of M and over the summer I will be participating in several triathalons.  The advice I have to all the underclassmen is to work hard at every single practice because every yard matters. 

As a swimmer, I spent a tremendous amount of time in and around water. It baffles me that almost one 7th of the world's population is without easy access to clean water. This organization uses a variety of methods to bring clean water sources to impoverished areas such as Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America


Sara Krebs - Canton High School

I started competitive swimming on Cruisers in 8th grade. My favorite event is the 200 breaststroke. I am attending Michigan State University in the fall. I also plan to go on to graduate school to become a Physical Therapist. While at Michigan State I want to participate in the triathlon club. My advice to the underclassman in swimming is to have fun and stay positive. Try to see the opportunities in every swim even if the race did not go as well as you planned. Plus, in swimming and in general, don’t be afraid to try new things.

I love working with and playing with kids, which hopefully I get to do in my career. Last year I volunteered at a special needs school, the kids were so determined and energetic. I left the classroom everyday inspired.  I also coached a couple of Special Olympic swimmers. I saw the joy and excitement the kids got from being able to practice as a team and show off their skills. Special Olympics allow kids with special needs to participate in sports and on a team that they may not have otherwise been able to, such as swimming. I would like to donate to Special Olympics to see this continue.


Emily Nelson - Salem High School

I have been on cruisers for ten years and it is the best thing I have ever done.  I have had so many good memories and have made so many good friends.  I will be attending the University at Buffalo next year, where I will be swimming and studying physical therapy.  My advice to underclassmen is when swimming gets tough to keep working at it because it will get better and it pays off in the end.

I chose to donate to the American Heart Association because my Dad died of a heart condition when I was ten. I hope others won’t have to go through what I did and hopefully one day heart conditions can be cured.