Grace Kowal of the Jersey Wahoos and Nazareth Academy High School has verbally committed to swim for the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech).
Last season, Kowal took fifth in both of her individual events at Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Class AA State Championships. She swam 1:54.38 in the 200 free and 4:59.07 in the 500. She also teamed up with her twin sister, Molly Kowal (who committed to Ohio State earlier this year), Shannon Harrington, and Mary Harrington to take seventh in the 400 freestyle relay with a 3:38.64 (Grace’s split was a 55.26). Kowal’s talents expand beyond her distance freestyle specialty into the breaststroke and the IM events. Here are her fastest times:
- 200 FR: 1:54.38
- 500 FR: 4:59.07
- 1650 FR: 16:55.85
- 200 BR: 2:26.01
- 200 IM: 2:09.06
- 400 IM: 4:33.79
Last season under the leadership of coach Ned Skinner, Virginia Tech took third in the ACC Championships, only falling behind the University of Virginia (who took the championship for the eighth year in a row) and the University of North Carolina. Kowal isn’t quite at a point right now where she would have scored points at last year’s conference championships, but many freshman swimmers see a marked improvement in their first year of college, due to heightened training intensity and focus.
“I chose Virginia Tech because of the great academics and athletics they have to offer,” she said. “I fell in love with the campus, the team, and the coaches on my visit, and I can’t wait to be a Hokie!”