Massachusetts DI State Champion Tommy Russell Commits to St. Leo University

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Junior national qualifier Tommy Russell has committed to swim at for Saint Leo University beginning in the 2020-2021 season. He swims year-round for the Pioneer Valley Aquatic Avengers and is a recent graduate of Westfield High School.

I loved the school, team and coaches. I am looking forward to being a part of a growing, winning and fast team in a great swimming conference! Having swam in Massachusetts indoors and in the cold my entire life, I can’t wait to be in Florida and swim outside! I want to thank Coach Paul and Erik for this amazing opportunity to be part of the Lion family! #GoSaintLeo”

In the summer of 2017, Russell competed at the Futures Championships in the 200 free and the 100 and 200 back. He qualified for finals in the 200m back, placing 8th in prelims. He touched the wall 7th and dropped 0.2 seconds, earning a new personal best time of 2:09.37 which qualified him for Winter Juniors.

As a junior at Westfield High School, Russell won a silver and a gold medal at the 2019 MIAA State DI Championships. He dropped 0.29 seconds in the 50 free (21.35), just barely getting out-touched by Saint John’s Prep’s Mitchell Lockwood. Russell later won gold in the 100 back, powering to the wall 2.6 seconds ahead of silver-medalist Chance Yan of Framingham High School. Russell participated on Westfield’s 200 medley and 400 free relays, which placed 3rd and 8th, respectively.

The spring, Russell competed at his final high school state meet, bringing home 2 gold medals.   He out-touched Brookline’s Soeren Euvrard by 0.02 seconds in the 50 free, clocking in at 21.19. Similar to the previous year, Russell won the 100 back, touching 2.6 seconds ahead of Yan. Russell led off Westfield’s 200 medley relay (23.8), which broke a 20-year-old school record.

Russell has been swimming competitively since the age of 6, and as a result, he has broken numerous league and New England YMCA records. In addition to swimming, he played volleyball and lacrosse in high school. He decided to focus on his swimming goals and went on to set multiple school and regional records.

Top SCY Times:

  • 100 back – 51.19
  • 200 back – 1:50.15
  • 50 free – 21.19
  • 100 free – 46.80
  • 200 free – 1:47.32
  • 50 back – 23.80

When he joins the Lions in the fall of 2020, Russell will be one of the team’s top backstrokers. He is seeded 2nd in the 50, 100, and 200 back behind Hampus Lovinge. Russell’s top times would have placed him in the B-final of the 100 and 200 back at the 2020 Sunshine State Conference Championships.

Russell is joining Spencer Jyawook as a member of the class of 2024.

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