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Joining her older sister, Olivia Velleco, Sophia Velleco has committed to Sacred Heart University to continue her academic and swimming careers this fall. Velleco is currently finishing her senior year at Seymour High School, a short twenty-minute drive from Sacred Heart.
“I’m looking forward to swimming at Sacred Heart University with my older sister Olivia and my teammates. Thank you to my coaches, Coach Dave, Coach Tom and especially my brother, Coach Jake, for helping me get to where I am today.”
Velleco finished her high school swimming career last November at the 2022 CIAC Swimming and Diving State Championships. There, she finished in the top-8 of both her races, taking 5thin the 200 free (1:53.26) and 4th in the 500 free (5:05.40).
In March, while representing the Woodbridge Aquatic Club, Velleco hit a lifetime best in both of those races while competing at the Connecticut Senior Invite. In the 200 free, she won the event in 1:51.96 while she took the top spot in the 500 free in a time of 5:03.53.
Top SCY Times
- 50 free – 24.78
- 100 free – 52.27
- 200 free – 1:51.96
- 500 free – 5:03.53
- 100 back – 57.45
- 200 back – 2:03.13
- 100 fly – 57.04
- 200 fly – 2:04.76
Velleco will be a huge addition to the Sacred Heart program this fall, with times that will immediately make her one of the team’s top swimmers in multiple events. With her lifetime bests, she would have led the program in the 100 back, 200 back, 100 fly, 200 fly, and 500 free last season. She also would have been among the program’s best in the 50 free, 100 free, and 200 free.
In the freestyle events, she’ll help fill the void left by the program’s top scorer from last year’s Northeastern Conference Championships, Kelly Bartnett. Bartnett finished in the A-final of the 50 free, 100 free, and 200 free last season, with her top finish being 4th in the 200 free (1:51.19).
At the conference level, Velleco will have the potential to score in the A-final of multiple events in her first season with the team. Her best time in the 500 free would have earned her 5th in prelims (8th in finals) while her 200 free time would have finished 7th in finals.
Velleco will also arrive on campus with times already capable of breaking SHU school records. Her time in the 200 back is already almost half of a second faster than the program record while she’s only about a second away from the team records in the 100 free, 200 free, 100 fly, and 200 fly.
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