Violet Witchel wasn’t sold on the idea of swimming in college, until the offers came pouring in from schools across the country.
Ultimately, Witchel decided to swim in college, and she signed a National Letter of Intent with NCAA Division III Vassar College of Poughkeepsie, New York. She made the commitment official during a special ceremony as part of National Signing Day on Wednesday at DHS.
“Originally, I was not planning on swimming in college,” Witchel said. “Then Vassar was a great school, and I met with the coach and toured the school and I really loved the team. The idea of playing sports in college became really appealing to me.”
Witchel, who swam a bit for the DHS team before turning her focus solely onto the Durango Swim Club program, is best in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle events. Through the Durango Swim Club, she was able to attend big meets that helped her gain attention from colleges.
When she joins the Brewers, Witchel will compete in the Liberty League under Vassar head coach Lisl Prater-Lee, who has led the Brewers since 1993.
“I had a few scholarship offers from D-I and D-II schools, but Vassar ultimately was the best school, fit and program that led me to them,” Witchel said.
Witchel, who plans to study biochemistry with a goal of doing a lot of research, is the second Durango Swim Club senior to sign with a college this swim season, as teammate Haley Benjamin signed with Division I University of Houston in late 2017. Benjamin was in attendance Wednesday to celebrate along with her teammate.
“The Durango Swim Club has helped me so much,” Witchel said. “The training program is rigorous, I love the coach (Alex Martinek). It’s a great program and I wouldn’t have gotten to where I am without the club team.
“It’s definitely a big deal for us both to be going to college, and it should get the word out that the Durango Swim Club is a great program that puts out great swimmers.”