Tara Tiernan, a senior at William H. Hall High School in West Hartford, signed her Letter of Intent Thursday.
By Ronni Newton
Tara Tiernan said that she has wanted to swim in college ever since she was a little girl, and Thursday afternoon, in a ceremony attended by family, friends, her coach, and administrators from Hall, she officially signed her letter of intent to become a student-athlete at Division I William & Mary in Williamsburg, VA.
Tara said she fell in love with William & Mary as soon as she made her official visit to the campus. She had already visited Villanova and UConn, and was supposed to visit Georgetown but canceled after she saw William & Mary. “It was a great fit academically and athletically. The team and the coaches were so amazing that I felt right at home,” she said.
Tara’s specializes in the 100, 200, and 500 freestyle. She played tennis at Hall her freshman year, but since then has focused on swimming. In addition to swimming at Hall, during the off season she trains with the Cheshire YMCA Sea Dogs every day after school, Saturday mornings, and also some mornings before school.
She said that her mom swam for UConn, and ever since she learned to swim she wanted to reach that same level.
West Hartford Athletic Director Jason Siegal congratulated Tara on behalf of the athletic department.
“She’s a fantastic pick-up for William & Mary,” Hall head swim coach John McClure said. “She’s been the stalwart of the team for four years.”
McClure said that Tara achieved what few others have. She has made All State for all four years, and is the only girl ever two be a two-year captain. Tara has also been a lane leader and a “stopper” who would step in and swim in certain relays in order to help the team secure an overall win.
Tara is a Hall record-holder and a few hundreths of a second away from two other school records that she may achieve in the upcoming State Open on Saturday, McClure said.
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