Senior Spotlights: D1 Swimmer Edition

Five swimmers look to pursue the sport at the next level

Clare Keller

Saint Joseph High School is filled with many talented athletes, however, the boys and girls swim teams certainly stand out. With 5 of their 6 seniors planning to continue their athletic and academic careers at Division 1 schools next year, these teams are certainly a force to be reckoned with.

John Bossler verbally committed to the University of Louisville his junior year, signing this past fall, and Gage Hannewyk has committed to the University of Xavier. From the girls team, Lauren Pieniazkiewicz has verbally committed to the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Emma Feltzer committed to Illinois State University, and Mary Cate Pruitt has committed to the University of Notre Dame. 

Although this group is beyond happy at where they ended up, their decisions required a demanding amount of time and energy.

When asked how long it took her to choose, Pieniazkiewicz says, “It took me a while to decide. I went down to visit Little Rock and loved it, but it still took me a few months to make up my mind.”

Lauren was not alone in this process, as deciding the next four years of your life is certainly no easy decision. Emma, who will be swimming in the same conference as Lauren, said that she talked to Illinois State for 6 months before she finally decided to commit. 

A common thread that unites this talented group of seniors is the way they felt when they first arrived on campus. The feeling of home that overcame them was described by Hannewyk, Bossler, Feltzer and Pieniazkiewicz as the most influential factor in their decision.

John even went on to say that, “the team culture, as well as feeling comfortable and at home” played an essential role in his decision to commit to Louisville, especially so early on.

When Emma first visited Illinois State, she recalls that she woke up in the middle of the night and “couldn’t fall back asleep for hours because I was so excited about how amazing the team and school was.”

Although high school is coming to an end for the seniors, this group is looking to the future. This next chapter of their lives brings an abundance of excitement to a person’s life, and these swimmers certainly have a lot to be excited about.

When asked what he is most looking forward to at Xavier, Hannewyk said, “contributing to a strong program” as “the men have been the Big East conference champions the past two years.” Pieniazkiewicz also has much to look forward to saying that she, “can’t wait to be part of such an amazing team and school” and that “Arkansas has stolen my heart”. 

The morning practices, weight sessions, and years of hard work have certainly paid off for this talented group of individuals. The Saint Joe community could not be more proud of all that they have accomplished, and look forward to seeing their continued success in the future.