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Student Athlete of the Week: Hawken swimmer Tori Culotta

Posted at 8:12 PM, Mar 03, 2022

CLEVELAND — Let's take a trip back in time to the year 1999.

Bill Clinton was in the White House and everyone was worried about Y2K.

A lot has changed since, but what hasn't is the Hawken swim team's dominance in the pool.

They've recorded 24 straight titles on the girl's side and counting.

“We have a number of outstandingly motivated student-athletes, a lot of them have been swimming for years growing up. So, they kind of know the tradition of Hawken," coach Adam Katz said.

The Hawken pool is running out of space to hang their banners.

Last weekend, the girl's team placed first overall at the Division II state meet.

“The idea of keeping it going is nice, but at the end of the day it’s not what drives us day in and day out," Katz said.

Katz said developing young swimmers in and out of the pool is what drives them, like Tori Culotta who's had a front-row seat to the Hawks historic run.

“Although it can feel like a lot of pressure sometimes because it is like 24 years of the Hawken alumni looking at you. But at the end of the day, it’s really about what can you day every day at practice and the meets," Culotta said.

The senior specializes in the 500-yard freestyle.

“Ever since I was young, I’ve done a lot of distance training. And I was with a group of girls who just really pushed each other in that area. So, I think having that support and training really helped me when I got to high school," Culotta said.

Her dedication to the sports ultimate endurance test lead to state titles all four years at Hawken.

She's now off to South Bend to swim for Notre Dame.

“I’m excited because I’m going to be surrounded by so many amazing people and swimmers and being in the ACC is exciting too," Culotta said.

Culotta said she's happy to be able to leave a legacy in the pool she grew up in.

“It’s a really cool thing to have on one end of it to be connected with 24 years of Hawken Alumni because that’s older than all of us," Culotta said.

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