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Senior Trio Concluding Owl Swim Careers

Top: Kristine Trutor; bottom (L-R) Jackie Foster, Alea Paddock
Top: Kristine Trutor; bottom (L-R) Jackie Foster, Alea Paddock

KEENE, N.H. 2/5/10 - Alea Paddock says that all she’s accomplished as a member of the Keene State College women’s swim team the past four years hasn’t quite sunk in. “Maybe when I go home and see all those Little East Conference awards my parents put over the fireplace, I can get a sense of what I’ve done,” said Paddock, a senior from Newbury, N.H.

Three of the seniors on the KSC swim team, Paddock and Holden, Mass., native Kristine Trutor and Jackie Foster, who hails from Goffstown, N.H., might need the Great Wall of China to display all the honors they’ve won over the years. Since joining the program in 2006 (Foster came aboard in 2007), the trio has captured an unprecedented 43 All-LEC honors and 36 individual conference championships, as well as 52 All-New England (NEISDA) plaques and 34 All-New England titles.

Those numbers will no doubt increase later this month (Feb. 19-21) when the threesome competes at the NEISDA championship that takes place at the Upper Valley Aquatic Center in White River Junction, Vt. Their names are also splashed all over the Owl record board. They own a combined 12 individual records and have played a role in five relay marks. Proud of their individual accomplishments, Trutor, Foster, and Paddock are just as thrilled with the teams’ performance in the pool.

During their tenure, Keene State has won four consecutive LEC championships and will be looking for a three-peat at the NEISDA meet. “It’s my senior year, so I hope we can do it again,” said Trutor, the 2009 LEC Swimmer of the Year.

Getting Trutor, Foster, and Paddock onto the starting blocks at Keene State was no easy task. Trutor was offered a scholarship to Sacred Heart in Conn., Paddock was accepted to Towson University in Maryland, and Foster transferred to KSC after competing one year at the University of Connecticut. Each swimmer provided a piece of the puzzle that has helped Keene State develop into a formidable team: Trutor excels in the backstroke, Foster shines in distance freestyle races, and Paddock made a name for herself in breast stroke and I.M. events. “I wasn’t quite sure what we were going to be able to do with the program, but I knew I had some real talent,” said head coach Jack Fabian, whose arrival at Keene State coincided with that of Trutor and Paddock.

“They all grew up a lot,” Fabian added. “The first couple of years they were good in the conference, but they weren’t national level athletes.”

Instead of wallowing in the shallow end of the pool, the trio decided to collectively swim out to the deeper water and attempt to compete with the bigger fish at regional and national meets. “It became a goal for them, and that’s the way it has to be,” said Fabian. “They have to want to do it, because it’s a lot of work.”

In addition to possessing the dedication and determination needed to be successful in the sport, the three have also developed a special camaraderie that gets them out of bed and into the pool on cold winter mornings. “This year we’ve become a lot closer,” said Foster. “We all have different roles on the team, but we have a strong bond as seniors and captains.”

“We’re competitive, but we also help each other out by pushing each other in practice,” said Paddock. “We’re all in it together.” Overcoming a shoulder injury that kept her out of the pool for almost her first two years at Keene State, Trutor became the first women’s swimmer at the school to reach the finals and earn points at an NCAA championship last year. “Krissy has no fear in competition,” said Fabian. “I knew if she made it to nationals anything could happen.” Trutor, Foster, and Paddock have all made “B” cuts for the NCAA championships that take place at the University of Minnesota from March 17-20. Trutor is currently ranked fifth in the 100 back and should earn a return trip to the national meet. “It’s looking pretty good, because they took the top 22 last year,” she said.

Trutor wants some company this year and hopes that Foster and Paddock will join her in Minnesota. “It would mean the world to me to go to the NCAAs,” said Foster. “It would be a reward for my hard work and a tribute to Jack for his dedication to the team.”

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