Villanova Adds 18 for 2016-2017 Season

Men's Swimming vs Providence
Photo Courtesy: Bowstring Studios

Villanova men’s and women’s swimming head coach Rick Simpson has announced Thursday the addition of 18 student-athletes for the 2016-17 season.

Thirteen men and five women are set to join the squad next season.

“We are very excited about the class of 2020 and anxious to welcome them to our Villanova family,” Simpson said. “I can’t wait to see them all in the pool.”

Below are brief capsules of each student-athlete.

Name: Noah Chernik

Hometown: Bay Shore, N.Y.

Scholastic Achievements: National Honor Society

Swimming Achievements: All-American, All-State, and All-Long Island Recognition

Why did you choose Villanova? Between the prestigious academics, distinguished athletic program, and the deep bond I saw between the swimmers, I knew Villanova was the perfect place for me.

Favorite Event: 200 Freestyle

Favorite TV Show: The Office

Favorite Food: Chicken Parmesan

Name: Justin Cucchi

Hometown: Atlanta, Ga.

Scholastic Achievements: Honor Roll, National Honor Society

Swimming Achievements: Grady High School Team Captain, Holder of 9 School Records, Led team to first City Championship

Why did you choose Villanova? I chose Villanova because of the outstanding academic and athletic program. I fell in love with the campus and the team when I visited. I believe I will grow as a student and swimmer under an excellent coaching staff. I can’t wait to be a Wildcat.

Favorite Event: 200 and 400 Individual Medleys

Favorite TV Show: Impractical Jokers

Favorite Food: Any Italian food

Name: John Davidson

Hometown: Eugene, Ore.

Swimming Achievements: Winter Junior National Qualifier

Why did you choose Villanova? I chose Villanova for its exceptional academic programs and great swim team.

Favorite Event: 500 Freestyle

Favorite TV Show: Parks and Recreation

Favorite Food: Burritos

Name: Jackson Kabas

Hometown: Greenville, S.C.

Scholastic Achievements: Honor Roll

Swimming Achievements: 6-Time All State Swimmer, 2-Time Zone Team Member, 1-Time Regional Player of the Year

Why did you choose Villanova? I chose Villanova because of its outstanding academics and the great swimming program.

Favorite Event: 400 Individual Medley

Favorite TV Show: The 100

Favorite Food: Bacon Cheeseburger

Name: Andrew Kelley

Hometown: Belmont, Mass.

Scholastic Achievements: 2-Time USA Swimming Scholastic All-America Team, National Honors Society.

Swimming Achievements: 1-Time MIAA Division 2 State Champion, 2015 Winter Nationals Qualifier, 4-Time New England Top-6 Swimmer.

Why did you choose Villanova? I chose Villanova because of its great reputation for both academics and athletics. When I visited Villanova, I was able to check off everything on my list that I was looking for. The team and coaching staff made me feel right at home as soon as I stepped on campus. Go Cats!

Favorite Event: 100 Backstroke

Favorite TV Show: Parks and Recreation

Favorite Food: Buffalo Chicken Pizza

Name: Alex Klippel

Hometown: Basking Ridge, N.J.

Scholastic Achievements: National Honor Society

Swimming Achievements: Co-Captain Ridge High School Swim Team, 1st Team All-Conference 100 Breaststroke, 6-time YMCA National Qualifier

Why did you choose Villanova? Villanova is a great environment with excellent resources, and it felt like a new home right when I got there. This atmosphere will provide me with everything I need to succeed both in the pool and in the classroom.

Favorite Event: 400 Individual Medley

Favorite TV Show: House of Cards

Favorite Food: Pizza

Name: Steve Krecsmar

Hometown: Elkhart, Ind.

Scholastic Achievements: High Honor Roll

Swimming Achievements: 5-Time State Finalist, 3-Time Team MVP, All-American Consideration Status, School Record Holder in 3 Events, Consideration for Kiwanis Athlete of the Year.

Why did you choose Villanova? The academics are fantastic, and the team and the coaches made me feel at home and incredibly welcome during my visit.

Favorite Event: 100 Butterfly

Favorite TV Show: Breaking Bad

Favorite Food: Steak

Name: Dominic Nazzaro

Hometown: Southington, Conn.

Scholastic Achievements: National Honor Society, Spanish National Honor Society, Co-founder and Vice President of the Xavier Future Business Leaders of America Club.

Swimming Achievements: CT Class LL State Champion 50 Freestyle, CT 2016 All-State Team, Xavier High School 100 Butterfly School Record Holder, 3-Time SCC All-Conference, 3-Time Xavier High School Team MVP

Why did you choose Villanova? I chose Villanova because I love everything about the school: its campus, its academic prestige, and the great swim team.

Favorite Event: 50 Freestyle

Favorite TV Show: Billions

Favorite Food: Italian Food

Name: Chris Paytner

Hometown: Hershey, Pa.

Swimming Achievements: 6-Time Mid-Penn Champion, 4-Time PIAA District 3 Gold Medalist, 3-Time PIAA Individual State Qualifier, 6-Time PIAA State Finalist, 3-Time NCSA National Qualifier, 3-Time NCSA All-American, 3-Time Mid-Penn Track and Field 400M Relay Gold Medalist

Why did you choose Villanova? I chose Villanova University because of its amazing reputation and commitment to academic excellence, coupled with an awesome coaching staff and team environment.

Favorite Event: 50 Freestyle

Favorite TV Show: Sponge Bob

Favorite Food: Peanut M&Ms

Name: Jade Rice

Hometown: Long Valley, N.J.

Scholastic Achievements: Honor Roll

Swimming Achievements: All-County Team, All Conference Team, All-Time Top Point Scorer at the Delbarton School

Why did you choose Villanova? The reputation of Villanova precedes itself, it is an incredible academic environment that also has incredible school spirit and seemed like home from the minute I stepped on campus.

Favorite Event: 200 Butterfly

Favorite TV Show: The Walking Dead

Favorite Food: Kind Bars

Name: Will Ritchie

Hometown: Apex, N.C.

Scholastic Achievements: National Honor Society, Two-time Scholastic All-American

Swimming Achievements: Team Captain, NCSA qualifier

Why did you choose Villanova? I chose Villanova because of the wide range of academic opportunities, the impressive swimming program, and the amazing student-athletes.

Favorite Event: 200 Backstroke

Favorite TV Show: Survivor

Favorite Food: Ice Cream

Name: Nick Spina

Hometown: Charlotte, N.C.

Scholastic Achievements: 2015 TSA National 4th Place Engineering Design, 2015 TSA NC State Champion Engineering Design, 2015 TSA Western NC Regional Champion CO2 Dragster Design, National Technical Honors Society Member, 3-Time Scholar Athlete Award Winner

Swimming Achievements: All-American status 200 Medley Relay, Honorable All-American status 200 Freestyle Relay, 3 Time NCHSAA Individual State Qualifier, Top 16 finisher at the 2015 NCHSAA State Swimming Championship in the 100 Freestyle.

Why did you choose Villanova? I chose Villanova because I wanted a place where I felt at home, could swim at a competitive level, and succeed academically.

Favorite Event: 50 Freestyle

Favorite TV Show: The Office

Favorite Food: Salmon

Name: Joe Swindal

Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pa.

Scholastic Achievements: National Honors Society

Swimming Achievements: 2-Time WPIAL Finalist

Why did you choose Villanova? I chose Villanova because of its campus, close sense of community, and excellence in both academics and athletics. The team and coaching staff were very welcoming to me and I know the program will push me to be the best that I can be.

Favorite Event: 1M Springboard

Favorite TV Show: Workaholics

Favorite Food: Burger and Fries

Women

Name: Bridie Dunn

Hometown: Potomac, Md.

Scholastic Achievements: 1-Time Academic All-American, Vice President of Chinese National Honor Society, English and History Honor Society

Swimming Achievements: 3rd Place Metropolitan Championships 2016, 4th Place Maryland States 2016, 7th Place AAU National Championships 2015, 4-Time All-Met Honorable Mention by Washington Post, 3-Time All-American Status

Why did you choose Villanova? I chose Villanova because of the excellent blend of academics and athletics and the welcoming and community feel of the team.

Favorite Event: 1 Meter Springboard

Favorite TV Show: The Office / Scrubs

Favorite Food: Mexican food

Name: Tarryn Els

Hometown: Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Scholastic Achievements: Received an academic scroll in matric

Swimming Achievements: Represented South Africa in multiple International Competitions

Why did you choose Villanova? I chose Villanova for its excellent academic and swimming program. What absolutely amazed me though, was the team spirit – and it’s just something I’d love to be a part of.

Favorite Events: 100 Butterfly and 200 Butterfly

Favorite TV Show: Grey’s Anatomy

Favorite Food: Chicken Snitchzel with Cheese Sauce

Name: Micaela Grassi

Hometown: Great Falls, Va.

Scholastic Achievements: 4-Time Scholar Athlete

Swimming Achievements: Honorable Mention All-Met Athlete, Winter Junior Nationals Qualifier, Langley High School 100 Butterfly Record Holder

Why did you choose Villanova? I chose Villanova because I fell in love with the team, the academic environment, and the community.

Favorite Event: 100 Butterfly

Favorite TV Show: Parks and Recreation / Psych

Favorite Food: Pasta

Name: McKensie Meyer

Hometown: Newtown, Pa.

Scholastic Achievements: Team Academic MVP

Swimming Achievements: Team Captain, Team MVP, 4-Time All-League, 4 Year Finalist at Easterns

Why did you choose Villanova? Villanova has always been my top choice of college and my love has only grown. Coming from a small high school, a sense of community was one of the most important things in my college search. When I walked on campus I was greeted warmly by students and faculty and instantly imagined myself in their shoes. Villanova has the perfect combination of academics, athletics, and service and I cannot wait to be a Wildcat

Favorite Event: Butterfly or Individual Medley

Favorite TV Show: One Tree Hill

Favorite Food: Wood-Oven Fired Pizza

Name: Jenny Schrenker

Hometown: Darien, Conn.

Scholastic Achievements: National Honor Society

Swimming Achievements: 1-Time CT Class L State Champion

Why did you choose Villanova? The atmosphere at Villanova is great. I love the sense of community and the enthusiasm of both the students and faculty. I have felt very welcome at Villanova and can’t wait to be on campus.

Favorite Event: 1 Meter Springboard

Favorite TV Show: Friends

Favorite Food: Ravioli

Villanova University contributed this report.

1 comment

  1. avatar
    Bill Bell

    Guess they’re trying to build a swim program the men hoopsters can be proud of.