2022 GHS graduate Brian Pawlowski will continue to swim competitively in college at Fordham University.
“Honestly I felt like it had the most sense of community,” Pawlowski said of the New York-based University. “When I talked to the coaches they were really supportive and seemed encouraging.”
Pawlowski will study political science and swim for the Jesuits of Fordham, who are led for the past three decades by head coach Steve Potsklan, a two-time Atlantic-10 Coach of the Year.
It’s the next step in an unexpected journey for Pawlowski, who started swimming in the second grade out of a lack of options.
“It was really just because I was bad at all the other sports so my parents wanted me to get into it and eventually I grew to like it,” a modest Pawlowski recalled.
A decade later, Pawlowski helped the Guardians win the Central Connecticut Conference (CCC) championship. He also qualified for class championships in the 200 freestyle and as a member of the 200 freestyle relay, helping the team placed 4th overall at the Class LL finals.
He called the CCC victory this winter his favorite moment, saying, “Everyone swam really well and the energy was really high. It was definitely memorable.”
GHS swimming head coach Suzie Hoyt has known Pawlowski since he was seven years old from the town’s Parks & Recreation swimming. She called him a “tremendous teammate” and “very talented” in the pool.
“I have enjoyed watching him grow up and I’m thrilled he is swimming at Fordham. He’ll be successful there,” added Hoyt.
Hoyt named Pawlowski the team’s Hartwell Award winner this season for being a well-rounded student athlete, in and out of the pool.
This summer, Pawlowski expanded his horizon and coached youth swimming at Pine Brook Club in Glastonbury.
He said he was apprehensive at first but quickly learned to love coaching, adding that he related to the kids he was teaching.
“When I started off I barely knew how to swim,” recalled Pawlowski. “So the younger kid reminded me of when I started.”
Along with swimming, Pawlowski also did outdoor track for a season and was part of DECA – the business club – at GHS. He is also musically gifted, playing piano for the past decade.
He added that because of the Covid-19 pandemic he has more of an appreciation of all the activities he does and that he’ll take that gratitude to the next level as he goes from Glastonbury to New York City.
“I will miss the community and the swim team the most, we’ve gotten really close the last four years,” said Pawlowski, who will now make the Bronx his home. “I’m looking forward to the scenery in the middle of the city. I have never really experienced that before.”
Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin