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Four high school swimmers from New York City’s Asphalt Green Unified Aquatics (AGUA) team participated in National Signing Day, committing to attend universities where they will compete in Division I swimming programs. Nicole Aarts (Convent of the Sacred Heart) and Krystal Lara (Stuyvesant High School) will both attend Northwestern University in Evanston, IL; Carly Fried (Trevor Day School) will attend Pennsylvania State University in State College, PA; and Aaron Glas (Stuyvesant High School) will attend Princeton University in Princeton, NJ. Aarts, Lara and Fried signed National Letters of Intent for their chosen universities during a ceremony on National Signing Day, November 11, 2015, at Asphalt Green, the nonprofit sports and fitness campus in Manhattan’s Yorkville neighborhood. Glas committed* to Princeton during the ceremony, but as an Ivy League institution, Princeton does not accept National Letters of Intent.
“We’re thrilled to celebrate the accomplishments of these four outstanding scholar athletes,” said AGUA Head Coach David Rodriguez. “Nicole, Krystal, Carly and Aaron have been exemplary competitors and leaders for AGUA. They all have great careers ahead of them in the pool, in the classroom, and beyond.”
Nicole Aarts – Northwestern University
Aarts lives in Hoboken, NJ and attends Convent of the Sacred Heart in Manhattan, where she holds the school’s 100-yard backstroke record. Aarts has been a member of AGUA for two years, and swam Junior Nationals qualifying times in both the 100-yard and 200-yard backstroke. A two-time Scholastic All-American, she plans to major in engineering or physics at Northwestern. Her best SCY times are:
- 50 back – 26.18
- 100 back – 55.35
- 200 back – 1:59.23
- 100 fly – 56.56
- 100 free – 51.55
- 200 free – 1:50.66
- 500 free – 4:54.99
“Nicole is a great athlete and technician,” said Rodriguez. “She is always looking for ways to improve, and has really expanded her event list over the last six months. Her versatility will be of great value to the Northwestern team at the conference level from year one.”
Krystal Lara – Northwestern University
Lara lives on Staten Island and attends Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan, where she has set nine individual school records as well as the Public Schools Athletic League record in the 100-yard backstroke. Additionally, Lara has set numerous team records during her two years on AGUA. At the USA Swimming’s 2015 Futures Championships, she won 100m backstroke and 400m medley relay, and qualified for the Olympic Trials in the backstroke. Lara is a Scholastic All-American and two-time recipient of Asphalt Green’s Swim for the Future Scholarship, which gives children with financial need a chance to pursue the dream of competitive swimming. She plans to major in pre-medicine at Northwestern. Her best SCY times are:
- 100 back – 55.04
- 200 back – 2:01.65
- 100 fly – 55.16
- 50 free – 23.85
- 100 free – 51.21
- 200 free – 1:48.73
“Krystal is a top competitor who always finds a way to show up in big moments,” said Rodriguez. “She will be a great addition for Northwestern and should provide them with great swims over the next four years.”
Carly Fried – Penn State University
Fried lives on Manhattan’s Upper East Side and attends Trevor Day School. Fried had a breakout performance at USA Swimming’s 2015 Futures Championships, where she qualified for Junior Nationals with a second-place finish in the 100m Breaststroke and helped set an AGUA record with a first-place finish in the 400m medley relay. A four-year AGUA member, Fried is leaning toward majoring in business at Penn State. We wrote about Fried here.
“Penn State really got a steal with Carly,” said Rodriguez. “She is on a very strong improvement curve, and should be able to help at the BIG TEN meet from year one. Her obsession with improving, and her ability to race will help her continue to improve over the next four years.”
Aaron Glas – Princeton University
Glas lives on Manhattan’s Upper East Side and attends Stuyvesant High School. In 2015, Glas won the 800m freestyle at the Senior Metropolitan Championships and had three top-ten finishes at USA Swimming’s Futures Championships, highlighted by a fifth-place performance in the 1500m freestyle. He has competed on AGUA for nine years and is a Junior Nationals qualifier. A Scholastic All-American with a 4.0 grade point average, Glas intends to major in economics at Princeton. His best times, with year-to-year improvements in parentheses are:
|500/400||4:39.34 (-9)||4:04.52 (-15)|
|1000/800||9:39.50 (-17)||8:31.49 (-23)|
“Aaron has gone from off-the-radar to one of the top distance swimmers in the northeast,” said Rodriguez. “His willingness to endure whatever practice is needed to help him improve, along with his ability to race, should allow him to continue on this impressive improvement curve.”
*DISCLAIMER: Glas has not yet been officially accepted to Princeton. As is true with all Ivy League schools, Princeton’s Admission Office will not send its acceptance letter until the beginning of December, along with those of all Early Action candidates. The procedure for a recruited athlete like Glas is for Admissions to review his transcript and SAT scores, “support his application for admissions in the fall,” issue a Likely Letter, then offer him acceptance into the class of 2020.
Asphalt Green Unified Aquatics (AGUA) is Manhattan’s premier competitive swimming team, one of the top teams on the East Coast, and one of the most diverse teams in the nation. Over 300 children ages six to 18, from each of the five boroughs of New York and northern New Jersey, pursue excellence on AGUA.
In recent years, AGUA has produced U.S. Olympic Team Members, Olympic Medalists, Olympic Trials participants, Senior and Junior National Championship finalists, National Junior Team members, National Age Group and Metro LSC record holders, and multiple swimmers ranked in the top 100 in the world and top 16 in the nation.
The AGUA swim team was formed in 1993 when the AquaCenter opened at Asphalt Green. The AGUA program was created by the unification of several small swim programs in New York City, coming together to swim in Manhattan’s only 50m Olympic standard pool.
All of AGUA’s coaches, as members of the American Swim Coaches Association, have access to the most comprehensive training and certification program for youth coaches of any sport in the United States.
About Asphalt Green
Asphalt Green is a nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting individuals of all ages and backgrounds achieve health through a lifetime of sports and fitness. Community service is at the core of our origin and at the heart of the organization’s mission. A city-wide agency, Asphalt Green has two first class campuses: a beautiful 5½-acre Upper East Side campus and a 52,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility in Battery Park City. Asphalt Green will help over 33,000 public school children be fit this year through free programs in schoolyards, gymnasiums, and pools across New York City. www.asphaltgreen.org
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