By MICHAEL LETENDRE
BRISTOL – St. Paul track and field star Theresa Swanke could have followed many avenues when she attends college in the fall.
The supreme athlete is one of the best track and field warriors – proficient in both the women’s discus and shot put – in Naugatuck Valley League challenges over the years.
In fact, Swanke has been piling up top finishes and done quite well for herself in conference meets.
And she loves to throw the javelin.
In fact, the javelin might be her best of all the field events.
In state challenges, Swanke has made a name for herself in all three field events.
With a promising basketball career also to contemplate, would she decide to stay on the hardwood or would she continue to find pleasure throwing metal objects over long distances?
Swanke made her decision to join up with a Division I track and field program at a school that’s mostly known for its successful basketball programs.
But on Thursday, Feb. 27, Swanke made her choice to become a Husky and will attend the University of Connecticut.
She signed a National Letter of Intent at a ceremony from St. Paul High School in front of family, coaches and friends as she signed the dotted line to join the Husky family and will join the women’s track and field squad.
Credit belongs to the St. Paul senior as she is going to follow her own path into college.
The track and field program at UConn is underrated and Swanke will continue to grow with it.
Over the last couple of scholastic seasons, Swanke has been improving her work in the field.
And the results have been impressive.
This past spring, Swanke was a part of the Class S championships and she placed in the javelin while just missed scoring the in shot put and the discus events.
In the javelin, Swanke – in her junior campaign – came in second place with a mighty toss of 113 feet, four inches and that qualified her for the State Open.
At the states, she made a 21st place showing in the javelin with her best throw going 101 feet, four inches.
Also at the Class S event on May 28, Swanke took ninth place in the shot put with a best throw of 29 feet, 8 inches and just finished out of the scoring fray.
And in the discus, she made a throw of 86 feet, 3 inches for an 11th place showing.
In 2012, as a sophomore, she made his first appearance in the Class S championships, making her presence known in two events.
In the discus, Swanke placed 15th with a counting score of 74 feet, 4 inches while in the javelin, she notched all the points for her squad in the event.
Swanke’s chuck of 105 feet, 1 inch was good for fifth at the Class S competition.
The bottom line is that Swanke could have put a ball in a hoop for another college for her next four collegiate seasons.
Swanke will definitely be joining a diverse group of athletes on the UConn track and field squad as members come from places such as New York, Florida, Maine, Delaware, Texas, and, even Jamaica. The UConn outdoor schedule usually starts at the end of March and runs through the end of spring while the winter portion begins before the Christmas holiday.
When it comes to Swanke, the bottom line is she would have done in whatever endeavor she put her mind to whether it’s track, basketball or undersea welding.
With the world at her fingertips, the sky is certainly the limit for Swanke.
Uconn is certainly getting an upgrade Swanke joining the ranks.
By MICHAEL LETENDRE