By Julia Waraksy
KINGSTON, R.I. – With the Rhode Island swimming and Diving team off to the first 6-0 start in program history, Caitlin Guccione and her teammates are striving for an Atlantic 10 Championship.
The Naperville, Ill., native is a dominant force for the Rams, competing in three different races consisting of the 100-yard and 200-yard butterfly, along with the 200-yard individual medley. With Guccione only being a junior she has 27 first-place finishes, along with six personal best records, two of them coming at the Atlantic 10 Championship in 2017.
Last summer Guccione worked tirelessly toward her athletic and academic goals. Pushing herself with conditioning and lifting, along with swimming, to working in cancer research.
"I always tell myself to be better than I was the last time," said Guccione. "This summer I worked hard not only for myself and my personal goals, but also for my team."
At Rutgers University, Guccione had the opportunity to work for Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey. There she gathered data collected from cancer patients to find patterns in cancerous mutations overtime. Being a math and computer science major and already earning credits toward the applied math masters program, Guccione wants to make a difference in the medical world.
"It keeps me motivated, being able to apply my skills to help people with multiple illnesses, especially those with cancer, it means so much more than just learning and getting a degree,"
With the focus of reaching an Atlantic 10 Championship, one of Guccione's expectations was to prepare for the upcoming season. The 20-hour weeks that the team endured during the months of September and October helped put them in a very good spot entering the 2018-2019 season.
"We are ready to go this year," said Guccione. "As a team we made sure to stay connected over the summer and to hold one another accountable during the preseason."
Not only is she diligent with academics, but she has proven to work hard and be a vital impactfor her team. She has been a standout so far this season with, two first place wins in the 200-yard fly, one first place win in the 100-yard fly, along with a first place win in the 400-yard medley with her teammates, Kaitlyn Bansky, Nicole Petta and Eliza Anderson.
"We are in a great position so far this season," said Guccione. "We have never had a record like this in conference history. It goes to show that all of our hard work and team chemistry is paying off."
With one of their biggest meets of the season defeated, the 23 rd Harold Anderson Invitational, Guccione and her teammates completed with a final standing score of 843.50 after the three-day event. Assumption, Bryant, Holy Cross, Providence and Maine were all at least 137.50 points behind the Rams after the final tally.
Their next meet will be held in Tootell Aquatics Center against Wagner at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 13.