Stony Brook Re-Opens University Pool, Ready for 2017-18 with Head Coach Janelle Atkinson

After being put on hiatus after the completion of the 2011-2012 season, the Stony Brook Women’s Swim Team will be returning this season under the guidance of new Head Coach Janelle Atkinson, a two-time Olympian for Jamaica. The Division I school is a member of the America East Conference.

The team was put on hold so that their pool could go under critical maintenance renovation, and work began in January 2015. The new design features a six-lane, 25-yard pool with a movable floor in the shallow end. It’s deep end reaches 13 feet to host two one-meter and one three-meter diving boards. There is also an updated HVAC system for climate control and dehumidification. New bleachers were also added for safety and comfort of spectators.

A photo gallery of the pool and re-opening event was shared on Stony Brook Swimming’s Twitter feed:

Atkinson, who comes to Stony Brook after serving as the Head Coach at Fairfield for three seasons, said she was excited about the renovations, and now just needs bodies to fill the pool. She is confident in the team’s ability to progress and succeed throughout the next few years.

“The opening of this pool means so much, not just to me personally, but for the program in general,” Atkinson said. “In a day and age where college swim programs are being cut left and right, what an exciting time it is for Stony Brook’s program to start back up.”

Atkinson will need to re-build the program from the ground up in the hopes of continuing the legacy of those that came before. Long-time Seawolves Head Coach David Alexander. Through his 32-year career, Alexander won over 300 dual meets, produced more than 100 All-Conference swims, four All-American performances and over 20 NCAA qualifiers. 

While this would be a challenge for anybody, Atkinson has plenty of collegiate and international coaching experience to help her along the way. Before Fairfield, she served four years as an assistant at UCONN and four season at Wright State University before that. 

Additionally, Atkinson served as the Head Coach for the Jamaican National Team at the 2009 World Championships in Rome, and was also named the Head Coach of the USA Swimming Southern Zone Diversity Select Camp in 2013. 

“We look forward to celebrating the reignition of our Women’s Swimming and Diving program under the tutelage of Jenelle Atkinson, our new head coach,” Director of Athletics Shawn Heilbron said. “It’s not easy to start a program from scratch, but in Janelle, we have the right woman at the right time.”

Stony Brook Athletics contributed to this report. 

1 Comment

1 comment

  1. Chris Coneeney

    Hope they bring back the men’s team soon

Author: Diana Pimer

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Diana Pimer was a breaststroke/IMer at Keene State College and is the NEISDA Conference record holder in the 200 IM. She is currently an Age Group Coach at AGUA in New York City and has covered major competitions for Swimming World including the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, 2015 and 2017 FINA World Championships, USA Swimming Nationals and more.

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