NVST's Anderson, Morris, and Starr to swim for Division III Colleges

Vintage’s Anderson, Napa’s Morris, Justin’s Starr to swim for Division III Colleges

Napa Valley Register

By Marty James 


As head coach of the Napa Valley Swim Team, Asher Green has gotten to know Megan Morris, Seth Anderson and Sam Starr very well.   He knows just how committed they are to swimming, to practicing and improving their strokes and always going after faster times.

He knows just how focused they are when it comes to their school work and doing well in each of their classes.

“They’re doing a great job for seniors,” Green said Tuesday. “I haven’t seen that senioritis that I would see in some athletes.

“They’re really pretty brainy kids. I’m gratified to see that they want to continue to swim, even though they’re going to be in a very demanding academic environment. At that level, the athletes there just love the sport.”

Morris, a Napa High senior, will attend Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio. Anderson, a Vintage High senior, will go to Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Ore. Starr, who graduated last week from Justin-Siena, will attend Whitman College in Walla Walla, Wash.

All three will swim in college, continuing in a sport that they began with the Napa Valley Swim Team.

“They are great kids,” said Green. “I’m really going to miss them. Each of these three athletes picked schools for academic reasons. They’re not there for athletic scholarships. They’re simply there for the love of the sport. It’s great to see my kids going on.”

Kenyon, Lewis & Clark and Whitman are NCAA Division III schools. Kenyon is a traditional DIII powerhouse; its women’s team has won 23 national team titles since the program’s inception in 1975.

In March, Kenyon finished fourth for the third year in a row at the NCAA Div. III swimming and diving championships inside Indiana University's Natatorium.

“I know they’re looking ahead to their college years, but they’re doing it wisely,” Green said during a team workout at Napa Valley College. “They’re looking to prepare.

“Kenyon is a storied program. Swimming is very highly respected on their campus. They have a wonderful tradition.”

Morris, Anderson and Starr have been with the NVST anywhere from eight to 10 years. Their names are all over the team’s record books.

A look at each swimmer:

• Megan Morris

Morris was recently honored as Napa High’s Female Athlete of the Year for the 2011-12 school year.

She has been a strong swimmer for the NVST’s year-round team and has also excelled on her high school team. In both her sophomore and junior years, Morris secured the Monticello Empire League championship for Napa High as the anchor leg on the last event of the meet, the 400 freestyle relay, overcoming huge deficits to win the event and the meet both times.

Her best events are the 50 freestyle and 100 freestyle. She also swims the 100 backstroke and 100 butterfly.

Morris holds NVST senior girls 400-yard freestyle relay and 400-yard medley relay records.

“I love the sport,” said Morris. “I can’t imagine my life without it. It’s part of my life now.”

Morris is looking forward to joining Kenyon’s sprint program.

Kenyon is a member of the North Coast Athletic Conference.

Morris, who has not yet declared a major, was an All-MEL swimmer and a team captain who received the coaches’ award at Napa High.

• Seth Anderson

Besides swimming for the NVST, Anderson has played water polo for Vintage.

He is an honor student and a member of the leadership team. He has lettered for four years in both swimming and water polo. He was captain of the Vintage boys water polo team and played center defender/utility. In 2011 he was selected All-Napa County, All-Monticello Empire League and All-Sac-Joaquin Section for water polo.

Anderson was also co-captain of the Vintage swim team and led the Crushers at sections in the 400 free relay and the 200 medley relay while competing in the 100 fly and 100 back.

He has been a member of the Napa Valley Swim Team for eight years. In club swimming, he has competed at the Junior Olympics and Far Westerns. The 100 fly and 100 back are two of his top events. He also swims the 100 and 200 freestyle and 200 individual medley.

Anderson holds NVST records for the 13-14 boys 200-yard freestyle relay, 13-14 boys 200-yard medley relay, 13-14 boys 400-yard medley relay, senior boys 400-meter medley relay, and senior boys 200-yard freestyle relay.

He intends on pursuing international studies and business as his major.

• Sam Starr

Starr said he likes Whitman — a member of the Northwest Conference along with Lewis & Clark — because it’s a smaller school and offers a good balance between academics and athletics.

He has enjoyed being a member of the NVST.

“I’ve found a great community here and made friends,” said Starr, who likes training with other swimmers who are goal-oriented like he is.

His best events are the 100 yard and meter backstroke and the 100-yard freestyle. His other events are the 200-yard backstroke, 200 individual medley, 50 freestyle and 100 butterfly. Starr also played water polo at Justin-Siena.

Starr holds NVST records for the 13-14 boys 200-yard freestyle relay, 13-14 boys 200-yard medley relay, 13-14 boys 400-yard medley relay, 15-16 boys 100-yard backstroke, 15-16 boys 200-yard backstroke, 17-18 boys 100-yard freestyle, 17-18 boys 100-yard backstroke, 17-18 boys 200-yard backstroke, 17-18 boys 100-yard butterfly, senior boys 100-yard backstroke, senior boys 200-yard freestyle relay, 15-16 boys 100-meter backstroke, 17-18 boys 100-meter backstroke, senior boys 100-meter backstroke, and senior boys 400-meter medley relay.

Starr swam all four years for Justin-Siena. He was an All-Marin County Athletic League swimmer.