Making a Big Splash - Spring 2009 Ivy Leaf Magazine

Ivy Leaf - Spring 2009

Making a Big Splash

It took less than a month for Adam Capatch to shatter a pair of longstanding York College pool records in the 200 Yard IM and 100 Yard Breaststroke, two events in which he has not lost all season.

Not bad for a young man who contemplated giving up the sport after high school.

"I chose Penn State Altoona because I wanted to go to Penn State for the Information Sciences and Technology program," recalls Capatch, a native of Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. "To be honest, I wasn’t sure after my senior year in high school if I was going to swim anymore, but I got here and thought I’d give it a try."

Typically calm, almost to the point of stoicism, Capatch says he can "get pretty loud" and likes to have fun during swim meets to help temper the nerves. Penn State Altoona swimming coach Nanette Cummings couldn’t be happier, "even if he doesn’t say more than a few words," and notes Capatch has been nothing but an asset to the program.

"Adam has made a big difference on our team this year," states Cummings. "He brings dedication, leadership, and a great attitude to the team in and out of the pool. He is a pleasure to coach on and off the deck. His consistency is amazing, and it’s almost like you know he is going to win before the race even starts."

With a quiet demeanor and unassuming frame, Capatch has taken the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference by storm in his inaugural season. At 5-9 and 130 pounds soaking wet, Capatch enjoyed a remarkable AMCC Championship meet in mid-February, winning three individual conference titles and breaking two Penn State Altoona Adler Pool records.

The freshman won individual championships in the 200 Yard IM, 100 Yard Breaststroke, and 200 Yard Breaststroke, breaking two Penn State Altoona records and qualifying for the Eastern College Athletic Conference meet in the process.

On the meet’s opening day, Capatch swam a 2:00.77 in the 200 Yard IM, breaking the previous Adler Pool record of 2:02.37 set by Kyle Centrella in 2002. The next day brought another individual title in the 100 Yard Breaststroke in which he clocked a 1:02.04 and was just a second away from breaking that Penn State Altoona all-time mark. On the final competition day, Capatch completed the sweep by taking the 200 Yard Breaststroke in 2:13.72, which shattered the prior school record of 2:16.08.

"Looking at the times coming in, I thought there was a chance to do some pretty good things right away," states a modest Capatch. "I just try to work as hard as I can and do the best I can each race."

A standout at Lewisburg High School, Capatch was a four-year district qualifier who advanced to the PIAA Double A State Meet twice, taking fifth in the state in the 100 Yard Breaststroke and ninth in the 200 Yard IM. He also made two trips to YMCA Nationals where he placed in the top 20-30 and helped his relay team to a fifth place finish.

As a youngster, Capatch began swimming competitively in sixth grade and joined a team after taking lessons from local swimmer Andy Storm. Capatch credits Storm as a driving force in his overall development, noting that their families became very close friends as a result of swimming.

"Andy got me started in swimming; if I hadn’t taken those lessons, I probably would have never gotten involved in the sport," states Capatch. "He has always been there for motivation and to help me with anything I need over the years, and I’m very thankful for his support."

Although he will transfer to University Park after next season to complete his degree, Capatch says he is focused on enjoying the time he has left at Altoona … and on continuing to set records.