Swim Program Overview
Early in 1945 a Volunteer Fund Committee was created to construct a “Swimming Pool for Blind Soldiers” at the Old Farms Convalescent Hospital, located on the campus of Avon Old Farms School. The school then functioned as Old Farms Convalescent Hospital, a rehab facility for blinded World War II veterans. Veteran’s Pool, built at a cost of $75,000 and funded exclusively by public subscription, was in full use by the veterans before year’s end.
When the school reopened in 1948, Veteran’s Pool became the home for Avon’s first swim teams. Until 1953, Avon had two swimming teams—the Diogenes team, and the Eagles team. Theodate Pope Riddle, the school’s founder, was a firm believer of intramural sports, thus competition between the campus dormitories was common. Written accounts from the 1949 yearbook state, “The Eagles were victorious in all but one of their meets with Diogenes. One [or] two of the meets ended with a good free-for-all water polo game, with no permanent casualties.”
By the 1952/53 academic year, Avon’s interscholastic swimming tradition began, with R.W.C. Evans III captaining the unified team. The student newspaper said of that first team, “No matter whether we lost or won, the times were cut, if only by tenths of seconds – we have produced a competitive team far beyond all hopes at the beginning of the season.”
Since that first year, the team has achieved many successful seasons, particularly during the Brad Mason, Jorge Consuegra, and Bill Kron era. These three coaches led the team to three decades of greatness in the ‘60s, ‘70s, and ‘80s. During its peak years, the swimming and diving program was large enough to field three teams.
In 2005, in its sixtieth year of existence, Veteran’s Pool was demolished as part of a plan to upgrade Avon’s athletic facilities. No new pool was built; however, the Avon swim team has continued to aspire and to persevere while using the recently build natatorium at Miss Porter’s School.
This year, the team is comprised of 19 hard working young men captained by Panyachote Ketyungyoenwong ‘13 and Preston Farrow ‘13. A highlight of the year thus far was a close victory over Canterbury on February 6th in Farmington. Bobby Mucka ‘13, Cole Gibson ‘15, Christian Di Antonio ‘15, Josh Fidanque ‘14, and Avon’s 200 freestyle relay all took first place finishes in the competition leading Avon to victory. Every swimmer on deck for the Winged Beavers that afternoon scored points in the competition.
As the season nears its end, Avon will continue to prepare for the Division III New England Championships—a meet at which we hope to finish with a splash!