Ava Larkin Poised for Swimming Success

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Star swimmer Ava Larkin could not be more excited to begin the final stretch of her high school career, both in and out of the pool.

When Ava a senior day student from Holyoke, Massachusetts is in her 6th year at Williston, began her Wildcat swimming career, she was only 12 years old. Ava has been a swimmer most of her life — she has competed for both the Holyoke YMCA Vikings, for several years, in addition to The Bluefish Swim Club, a nationally ranked swim program — she’s also an academic scholar.

Before Ava was 12, she decided to apply to Williston when the coach of her club , Nick Rice, was invited to start a program here. She was invited and welcomed to the community by Dave Koritkoski, the Head Swim coach for both boys and girls at Williston.

Koritkoski, who also serves as Associate Dean of Students, met Ava when she was only 11 years old as a prospective swimmer. Koritkoski, who most students refer to as Coach K, has lead the Williston Swimming and Diving Team to the NEPSAC Division II Championship swim meet every year since Ava’s arrival, resulting in two first place titles and two second place titles in addition to countless individual titles and awards.

Coach K noted the impact Ava has had on the team’s overall spirit.

“What is impressive about Ava is right from the time that she got here she was never afraid of the moment,” Coach K said. “Big meets, big races. She has been a leader by action.”

Ava has grown individually as a swimmer since she began her time on campus. She has won six NEPSAC Division II Swimming Championship titles in addition to numerous second and third place awards. Ava is a vital member of the program and a key aspect of the team’s overall success.

While Ava has had a large impact on the Williston swimming program, she has also grown as a person and developed immensely as a leader.

“[Swimming] has taught me how to be a team member and team leader. I have learned a lot about sportsmanship, something I did not learn about on my past club teams,” Ava said. “These leadership experiences not only helped me as a swimmer but as person, too.”

Ava is planning her future as a swimmer and hoping to swim in college.

This past March, Ava was elected captain of the swim team along with Julia Borden [Editor’s Note: Ella Mattocks, the author of this story, is the third captain of the team.]

She also has many goals for herself for the future of the Williston swim team, herself, and the community at Williston.

“I want to make our team united,” Ava said. “As a captain, I want to make the team fun again and create a positive environment for the swimmers. I want to get back into the racing mindset that we did not have last year due to Covid.”