SAC Alumni:  Where Are They Now?

 

SAC Swimmers:  College Swimming Bound

 


Class of 2022


Avery Fisher (Milliken University)

McKenzee Gordon (Univ. of Hawaii)

Claire Grover (UCLA)

Kelly Huffer (Naval Academy)

Michael Klauss (UNLV)

Christian Larsen

Natalie Larsen (Claremont Mudd Scripps)

Madison Leblanc (Columbia University)

Gabby Lizzul (UNLV)

Shea Nicolaisen (Duke University)

Jason Ruka (St. Louis University)

Gaby Tellez (UNLV)

Terry Yang (UC - Santa Barbara)

 


Class of 2023


Stefan Cooley (Univ. of Missouri)

Tanner Falls (US Military Academy)

Parker Hughes (Univ. of Michigan)

Sammy Kaminsky (Goucher College)

Erin Mabry (Colorado State - Pueblo)

Noelle Miceli (Biola University)

Jered Moore (Univ. of Pittsburgh)

Kennedy Muhs (Colorado Mesa University)

Ellice Richman (Cal State Bakersfield)

Ivan Sabev (US Merchant Marine Academy)

Alexa Teneyck (University of Idaho)

Dawson Tupponce (Hartwick College)

Max Weed (Univ. of Cincinnati)

 

 

 

Catching up with our Alumni...

Katie Shannahan
University of South Carolina - 5th Year Senior


How did SAC help you prepare for college swimming?

SAC helped me prepare for college by not only providing the resource of Sue Cox and her knowledge of college swimming and the recruiting process, but I was fortunate enough to watch some of the older kids go through the process as well.  It was nice to ask questions and talk to people who went through it first hand.  SAC has such a rich history of college swimming.  It helped me to know that if there was something I was struggling with, other people probably went through it too.

What has been your best memory as a collegiate swimmer?

2019 NCAA Championships.  I was blessed to be able to go on a relay.  Although I never personally swam a race at NCAAs, I was able to see some of my favorite people end their collegiate careers or swim the very first NCAAs of their careers.  The first one was watching my best friend that I met at USC just have an amazing meet that she had wanted for a really long time.  She was top 8 in every individual race that she swam and I was lucky enough to be her hairbrush holder and make sure that she looked perfect to have her picture taken.  The next three are people that I swam with at SAC.  I cannot tell you how badly I bawled watching Amy Bilquist just go off for her last NCAAs!  It was the first time I had seen her in a couple of years and it was like we had been with each other the whole time.  She is a complete inspiration with everything she has gone through and seeing her accomplish greatness honestly made me feel like a proud mom.  The last two were little babies when I was leaving SAC.  Seeing Taylor Ruck and Claire Grover race at their first NCAAs was something that was so cool for me to witness.  They both are not only incredible athletes but have grown into incredible women.  In my mind, Taylor Ruck still seems to be the 12 year old stud that I was constantly surprised by even when I knew what to expect when watching her swim.  

What is the best thing you have learned about yourself while in college?

The best thing I think I have learned about myself in college is that swimming has really prepared me for life.  For those who have known my swimming career, it hasn't been an easy one.  I have been really fortunate to face these challenges now and have to learn the process of overcoming those speed bumps.  Life, just like swimming, is really difficult and not everyone is able to do life well.  Swimming has helped to share me into a hardworking young woman who knows that challenges are always going to arise but it is how you respond and handle them that is the true test.  

What would you tell the 16 year old version of yourself now that you are nearing the end of your swimming career?

This sport has been one of the best things in my life.  I know every swimmer has their days when they are like "I'm done.  I don't want to do this anymore.".  As my career comes to a close, I really truly am going to miss the mundane day to day things.  I have really learned how much I love this sport while I have been in college and have enjoyed almost every moment I am in the water surrounded by my teammates.  I wish 16 year old me would have cherished that a little bit more.  The second thing is to really love and respect those around you.  Your coaches now what they are doing and there are days where I would do anything to go back to being in a lane with Victoria Toris, Sam Fazio, Emma Broome, etc and just sitting in the water annoying Kevin.  It's the little moments like that which I miss the most.  Being on a travel trip and Bob busting a move in the airport is a moment I would do almost anything to go back too.  So cherish the little things, every 5:05 morning practice, every travel trip, every team win, etc.  The small things are what you will remember the most.  

What has been your biggest challenge as a collegiate swimmer?  What helped you overcome that challenge?

My biggest challenge has been trusting the process.  The sport of swimming with weighlifting and tapering is a HUGE process, and one that isn't always easy.  At the end of the day, I have learned to trust my support staff (parents, coaches, teammates, etc) and really lean on them when the process is hard.  There are easily days when I have been doing a 200 fly pace set and I could easily just be like "My body hurts.  I don't really wanna hit pace today." but my goals are something that I always have around me for moments like that.  Reminding myself of what I want to accomplish for my team is what brings me back from those dark thoughts.