Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIII, No. 3
 
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
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(Photo courtesy of Kutztown University Sports Information)

GOLDEN GIRL: Jordan Shapiro flashes a smile in a shot for the Kutztown University (Pa.) women’s swimming team. Shapiro, a former swimming star at Princeton High, has made a quick start for the Golden Bears. Last November in the school’s Golden Bear Invitational, Shapiro clocked a 2:08.13 in the 200 backstroke to set a pool record. Last week, Shapiro won four individual races in two meets to help the Kutztown improve to 8-2 and earn her a spot on the school’s weekly sports honor roll.

Former PHS Swimming Star Shapiro Producing a Fast Start for Kutztown

Bill Alden

Jordan Shapiro harbored a special aspiration as she started her college swimming career this past fall at Kutztown University (Pa.).

“I made it a goal to set some type of school or pool record,” said Shapiro, a former star for the Princeton High girls’ swim team.

Wasting no time making a splash at the college level, Shapiro achieved that goal last November at the school’s Golden Bear Invitational, clocking a 2:08.13 in the 200 backstroke to set a pool record.

Last week, Shapiro added another glowing chapter to her freshman story, winning four individual races in two meets to help the Golden Bears improve to 8-2 and earn her a spot on the school’s weekly sports honor roll.

Shapiro, who also starred for the Hamilton Aquatics Club during her high school years, has thrived on the heavier work load she is getting at Kutztown, a Division II school.

“They started us out somewhat easy but after a couple of weeks, they were working us a lot harder,” said Shapiro, who won Mercer County title in the 50 and 100 freestyle races during her senior year at PHS.

“We usually go at least two hours and do about 6,000-7,000 yards. On Tuesday and Thursdays, we do dry land training from 6:30-8 in the morning. I had a sense of what I was getting into because I had worked hard with my club team. This is still a lot harder than anything I have done.”

Shapiro’s first college meet in early October against West Chester was hard as she dealt with unfamiliar surroundings. “I was kind of nervous,” recalled Shapiro.

“In high school or club, you know everyone and what they can do. I didn’t know anyone or what they could do.

As her debut season has gone on, Shapiro is enjoying showing what she can do.

“I like the level of competition,” said Shapiro, who has also been swimming in the freestyle sprint events and relay races. “I really have to chase after people to get the times I want.”

Shapiro has been ahead of the pack most days in her backstroke races.

“I was expecting to do the back stroke,” added Shapiro. “It is good that I did the 100 back at high school at the counties and in our meets. That is paying off now.”

In Shapiro’s view, the decision to come to Kutztown is really paying off for her. “I liked the size of the school,” said Shapiro, who also considered Rider and LaSalle.

“When I came on my recruiting visit; I liked how the people acted toward each other. They were nice and supportive. Kutztown has a very good education program and that is what I want to get into, probably elementary school teaching.”

Shapiro is enjoying being away from home and learning how to balance her schoolwork and swimming.

“I have much more time at college to do things; at home I was driving to school and then driving to club practice,” said Shapiro.

“I spent a lot of time in the car. Here I am a three-minute walk from the pool. It is easier being at school because everything is close. Princeton prepared me well for college. I am taking a normal load of 15 credits this semester. I feel like I am doing well in the class. This is where I am supposed to be; I am enjoying every moment.”

As Shapiro heads into the stretch drive of her freshmen season, she has her eyes on creating some more special moments.

“I am close to two NCAA Division II qualifying times in the 100 back (58.09) and the 200 back (2:05.95),” said Shapiro.

“When we get to the end of the season we do a full taper for the PSAC (Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference) meet and I have a chance there. The nationals are in Houston Texas and I’d love to go there.”

And based on how quickly Shapiro achieved one of her initial college goals, it wouldn’t be surprising to see her end the season in Houston.

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