NEW HAVEN, Conn. - While this fall has presented many differences and challenges for athletics around the country, the Albertus Magnus College athletic department remains steadfast in its commitment to the four pillars of the college - community, prayer, service, and study. To make-up for a loss of athletic competitions, each of the athletic teams have been participating in a different service project, including community clean-up, in-person/virtual athletic lessons, and volunteering efforts.
The Albertus Magnus College women's swimming and diving team contributed to the department service initiative by hosting safe, socially distanced swim meets for Sacred Heart Academy, a school with whom Albertus has shared a close relationship for years. Throughout the fall semester, Sacred Heart utilized the Albertus Magnus swimming pool as its home base, participating in seven virtual meets and their conference championship. Each of the girls on the Albertus swimming and diving team assisted at the meets, either by operating scoring equipment, performing as a timekeeper, or assisting in other meet-related tasks. The girls were also responsible for setting up and breaking down the meets for Sacred Heart.
In addition to its assistance at the Sacred Heart meets, the Albertus swimming and diving team also participated in a Black Lives Matter Tread-a-thon, treading water for eight minutes and forty-six seconds in support of the fight for racial justice. The team is still working toward its goal of raising $1,000 by the end of 2020.
"On behalf of Sacred Heart Academy swimming and diving, I would like to thank Albertus Magnus for your tremendous hospitality this fall season," said Sacred Heart head coach Mike O'Brien. "As you know, this season has been a slight rollercoaster from beginning to end, especially with plans changing daily due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Coach Pallone, her staff, and her swimming and diving team were more than accommodating, making this crazy season more than just a poorly planned, last minute, thrown together season. They were helpful every inch of the way, from making sure the pool was staffed to volunteering to time during our 'virtual' and live meets. This meant a lot to me, and it meant a lot to my girls to have such a great relationship with Coach Pallone and the facility. Our team remained positive from day one and grateful that we had the opportunity to be in the water. Thank you for all you have done to make us feel welcome, and we look forward to many more years calling Albertus Magnus our 'Home."
"It was inspiring for me to see young girls and their dedication and love for the sport. I was able to learn so much more about the sport by being in another position, rather than being a swimmer this time," said Crisbeth Castaneda, a sophomore on the Falcons swimming team.
"I am happy we were able to provide a safe environment for Sacred Heart Academy and the Southern Connecticut High School Conference (SCC) to host swim meets and a conference diving championship," said Albertus head coach Lauren Pallone. "Many schools this year found themselves without a 'home' to train and compete. We are grateful to have played a small part in allowing these young ladies the ability to have some sense of normalcy throughout their season. We look forward to a continued, long-lasting relationship with Sacred Heart Academy and the SCC. Our team understood how important this was as we had seen our own Falcon family have their seasons taken away from them. The girls understood what it meant to help others looking for their opportunity to compete during this unprecedented time."
About Albertus Magnus College
Albertus Magnus College, founded in 1925, is a Catholic College in the Dominican tradition. It is recognized by external rankings such as US News & World Report Best Colleges, Money Magazine, and the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education. The College has an enrollment of 1,500 students in its traditional undergraduate program, accelerated adult degree programs, and 12 graduate programs, including a new Master of Public Administration and the only Master of Arts in Art Therapy and Counseling program in Connecticut. In the last year, the College received two significant Federal grants in support of student success and well-being: a $300,000 grant from the Department of Justice and a $1.9 million Title III grant from the Department of Education.