Seven Sisters College Women Prepare for Catalina Channel Double Crossing

Photo Courtesy: Instagram @catpruden48

Six female athletes are coming together to swim 40 miles this summer: across the Catalina Channel in both directions, as a statement of teamwork and empowerment for women everywhere.

The two-way Catalina Channel open-water swim will be completed by a group of six women representing the iconic Seven Sister Colleges association. The Seven Sisters is a loose association of seven liberal arts colleges in the Northeastern United States that are historically women’s colleges. They are Barnard College, Bryn Mawr College, Mount Holyoke College, Barnard College, Smith College, Vassar College, and Wellesley College.

The swim is scheduled to begin in the evening of Friday, June 16th from the Palos Verdes Peninsula; the total distance to be swum is approximately 40 miles. The women swimming across the channel are all either current students or alumnae of the Seven Sisters Schools.

Team member Abby Bergman exclaimed, “I am really excited to use this event to showcase how women can come together to do something we love and accomplish an extreme goal.”

Read the full Mission Statement for the Swim:

As Seven Sister College students and graduates, we all believe in the power of women supporting women to achieve greatness. The six of us on this relay represent women of different ages, interests and geographical location, bound by a fierce love for challenge and passion for excellence that we developed at our respective colleges. We are embarking on this relay to be an example of empowerment; the empowerment found when women take on an incredible challenge as a team and work together, and empowerment via paying it forward and being a role model for those who want to dream big and fulfill their own goals.

The team is comprised of Abigail Bergman (Smith ’18), Rebecca Nevitt (Wellesley ‘88), Charlotte Samuels (Smith ‘20), Eliza Cummings (Smith ’17), Gabriela Kovacikova (Wellesley ’14) and Cathleen Pruden (Mount Holyoke ’16). Each woman in the relay will swim one-hour shifts starting first from the California mainland to Catalina Island, then after touching shore, turning around and swimming all the way back.

Each of these women have competed at the college level, at times swimming against one another in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC), as well pursuing individual open-water and pool accomplishments. In 2016, Bergman swam the Catalina Channel; Cummings completed a Plymouth to Provincetown Crossing. Samuels is the youngest swimmer to have completed the Triple Crown of swimming (English Channel, Catalina Channel and circumnavigation of Manhattan Island). Nevitt has swum both Manhattan Island and the Catalina Channel. Pruden came 3rd place in the NCAA Division III Championship 400 IM in 2016. Kovacikova swam the English Channel in 2013.

The women’s upcoming Channel Swim will be followable by live tracker on the following website The women are available for interviews prior to race departure on June 16th.

Press release courtesy of Abby Bergman

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Steven Munatones
7 years ago

What is the order of the swimmers? Will you all ever train together before the actual two-way crossing attempt? Who is the escort pilot? What time do you estimate starting (at Terranea Resort?)?

Michael Stott
7 years ago

These young women have some serious Open Water chops. Looking forward to seeing how they do. You go, Girls.

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