D1 Spotlight: Swimmers

Six Suffield swimmers brought their hard work and talent to bear in support of major Division I swimming and diving programs (Notre Dame, SMU, Dartmouth, Denver, and UConn), continuing a 40-year tradition yielded by the Tiger swimming and diving program.

Two of them, Max Miranda ’18 and Sydney Winters ’19, compete for Notre Dame, a top 20 program. Coach Mike Litzinger commended on their contributions: “Max Miranda has been a fantastic young man to work with. He takes pride in his daily work ethic in both the pool and classroom. What I enjoy the most about coaching Max is his dedication to the team, willingness to swim multiple events, and his loyalty to the team mission. Max is a fantastic national-level athlete, and a Notre Dame man.”

“Sydney has thrived in our environment and has been a great team player. She is very coachable, an ACC level athlete, and a leader in her class. Sydney has made a significant impact on her team, and has been honored with the Beeler-Hipp Award which recognizes the freshman who embodies the Notre Dame spirit. She will have a fantastic college career.”

One of the nation’s top sprint freestylers Cam Auchinachie ’17, a junior and two-year captain at Denver University, had hoped for a few top eight finishes at the March D1 NCAA Championships, but the meet was called off only two weeks before the event. Last year he scored in the consolation finals in the 50- and 100-freestyle events at the meet, setting school records with his swims.

Head Coach Alicia Hicken-Franklin commented: “Cam is a high performer for our team every day in practice and consistently in competition. He was awarded our men’s team MVP for 2019-2020. Cam was a captain in 2019-2020 and will be again in 2020-2021. Each day he comes with the mindset to listen, grow, improve, and have fun. He believes in himself and his abilities and trusts his partnership with his coaches. He loves to win and compete at the highest level.”

Ralph Koo ’16 completed four years of competing for SMU (Dallas, Texas), where he often led off or anchored “A” relays and garnered many honors during his tenure on the team. Head Coach Greg Rhodenbaugh notes: “Although we have only been together for one season, I really appreciate the role Ralph played with the team as we took the team to a much higher level this year. Ralph has been a great example to the 20 new athletes on the team this year of what a student athlete should be. He took his academics and swimming seriously, working hard at both and setting a standard in those areas for the rest of the team. He continually strived to get better in these areas on a daily basis so he could be and the team could be incredibly successful by the end of the season. As a senior he used his experience and influence well as he encouraged his teammates in a positive way. He counselled teammates who were struggling to be better and uplifted others even as they ascended, engaging with others in an open and mutually beneficial way. He did this because he truly cares about his teammates and our fine institution. I only wish I would have had more than one season with Ralph. I believe the metric of his success and contributions will show up in the next few years in the healthy culture of our team and the success we achieve.”

Brandon Liao ’17 finished his third year of competing for Dartmouth College, where he has specialized in sprint freestyle, breaststroke, and relay swimming for the Green. Dartmouth’s head coach Jamie Holder relates: “Brandon has distinguished himself as one of the hardest workers in our program over the last three years. His dedication to swimming and our team is second to none. Brandon has been a tremendous contributor in helping to make our team culture more positive and competitive. We are excited to have Brandon as a team captain for his final year at Dartmouth.”

Cian Beaulieu ’18 has helped UConn Men’s Swimming improve in his two years competing for the Huskies. Beaulieu is praised by Coach Tim Wise: “We were certainly delighted with Cian's first two years. He developed and contributed exactly the way we were anticipating. He spent last summer training with us and was poised to continue his solid contributions.”

All six talented Suffield swimmers continue to contribute mightily to their Division I programs, honoring a lasting tradition of excellent athletic accomplishments begun with Coach Andy Lowe and the Suffield Academy Swimming and Diving Program.