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The Trinity Voice

The student news site of Trinity Preparatory School

The Trinity Voice

The student news site of Trinity Preparatory School

The Trinity Voice

Diving into a New Chapter

Aquatics program adds new director and head coach
Raheel Patel
New Director of Aquatics Anne Marie Stricklin stands with part of the boys varsity swim team during an after-school practice.

   For the first time since 2005, Trinity Prep Aquatics is competing without former Director and Head Coach Rocco Aceto. Filling Aceto’s old position is a familiar face on campus, previous Assistant Aquatics Director and Physical Education teacher Anne Marie Stricklin. 

   Stricklin is serving as interim aquatics director until a long-term coach is named. Growing up, Stricklin had a passion for swimming and began competing at age 10. During her high school years at Grand Island High School in New York, Stricklin was a five-time All-American, two-time New York state swimming champion in the 50-yard freestyle and school record holder in seven events. After an illustrious high school career, she went on to swim at the University of South Carolina. In four years of competition, Stricklin was a 3-time NCAA Division I Academic Team All-American. The competitive nature that swimming brings was what Stricklin loved most about the sport, and it pushed her to become better as the years went on.

   “I loved to compete,” Stricklin said, “but I hated losing even more. I love the competitive aspect involved in swimming at all levels, whether it be middle school or at the college level.”

   After college, Stricklin went on to coach at multiple universities, including Auburn, Georgia Southern, Northern Illinois, and the University of Notre Dame before ultimately joining Trinity as assistant aquatics director in 2006. This year marks Stricklin’s 17th year at TPS, and she is excited to help compete for more titles. 

   Filling the position as head coach of swim and dive is Natalie Nickson. Nickson joins Trinity after previously coaching 10 years at Dr. Phillips High School, where she attended as a student and competed on the swim team. After graduating high school, Nickson went on to swim at the University of Florida, competing in the 100 and 200 fly. Nickson plans on bringing a fun, yet winning culture to Trinity in her time as head coach. 

   “I am hoping to form a sense of community to the team,” Nickson said. “High School swimming is a very fun and fast experience. I want all the swimmers to enjoy their time representing Trinity Prep. I was both a high school and collegiate swimmer, and I look back at my time swimming for Dr. Phillips high school as the best time of my swimming career. The friends and memories I made are something I hold very dear to my heart even now. ”

   At first, the adjustment from coach to coach was not easy for the swimmers, but as they became more familiar with the coaching staff, they began to see improvement. Boys varsity captain Max Balon said there was a time this summer when he wasn’t sure about how this year was going to unfold, but is now confident that the team is heading in the right direction.

   “The transition from the old to new coach was very difficult for every single one of the swimmers,” Balon said. “There was a buffer stage where we did not completely get the most benefit out of our practices, but then we all adjusted to the new coaching style, which has helped all of us improve into the best we can be.”

   Trinity aquatics is known to be among the best in the Central Florida area, and there is no intention for that to change. Stricklin said that the team has found a groove after an unfamiliar start to the year, and is hoping to add more banners in the DAC this upcoming season.

   “It’s definitely a hard time when you lose your coach that has been around the program for such a long time,” Stricklin said. “So it was a transition, but I think everybody now is settled in and working well together. We had a great summer of swimming and produced lots of best times at meets so far. So we’re well on our way to continuing the long standing tradition of winning that we’ve had here in the program.”

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About the Contributors
David Steinberg, Managing Editor
David Steinberg is a junior entering his third year on staff as a managing editor. While he’s not writing, he is an all-star athlete on the level of LeBron James: he enjoys golfing, ice hockey and running pickup basketball with his friends. After his games, he likes to wind down with a good medium steak and the 15th rewatch of his favorite TV show “Suits" for his favorite actress, her majesty, Meghan Markle. Contact David at [email protected]
Raheel Patel, Photographer
Raheel Patel is a rising senior who will be joining the photo department. Apart from being Trinity’s starting pitcher, he loves listening to Gunna, eating Taco Bell and going fishing. Contact him at [email protected].

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