Senior Winter Athletes Reflect on Final Season


Abin Boris, Staff Writer

As the winter sports season starts to slowly fade, seniors for the Pioneers’ winter teams are closing their college athletics chapter.

For some, it might be the last time they competitively play for their favorite sport, while others venture off chasing their dreams into the world of professional sports.

For Lara McNamara, a four-year swimmer for the Pioneers, it will not be easy to say goodbye to her team.

“I will miss the bond you create with your teammates and coaches,” McNamara said. “I’ll also miss finishing a race knowing I did the absolute best I could.”

Over her four years here at UC, McNamara has put up exceptional numbers for the swim team. She continuously became better as the years went on putting up best time after best time for herself.

She has many highlights over her tenure, but she has two special moments that she counts as her best times swimming for Utica.

“One is making it on the record board for a relay my freshman year,” she said. “Another one, to me, is making a family here that will last a lifetime.”

While McNamara will be moving on from swimming here at Utica, she does plan on staying around the pool one way or another.

“At the moment, I have no plans to continue swimming competitively,” she said. “I will hopefully continue to teach children how to swim during the summer months.”

From the pool to the track field, senior runner Kevin Gangemi will also be saying goodbye to the Pioneers this year.

Gangemi has broken many records with Utica while helping lead the team to success.

While Gangemi leaves the team and the school after this year, he leaves proud of what he accomplished over his four years.

“I’ll miss breaking school records,” Gangemi said. “I’ll also miss representing our team at other meets to show who we are and that we are a great team.”

There was never a dull moment during Gangemi’s time here on campus, but there were a few moments that directly stuck out to him as his favorite.

“My favorite highlight was qualifying for NCAA Division III Nationals for our 4×4 relay,” he said. “We were the first-ever relay in UC track history to qualify and that was a big accomplishment.”

While Kevin would love to continue his track career, he does have his future planned out to what he wants to do after track.

“I have put some thought into running for a track club,” he said. “But if I don’t, I plan to become a personal trainer and a wellness promoter.”

With it being the end for these two, they appreciate the time and help they received from everyone.

“Being able to experience this all with people I enjoy,” McNamara said. “It means so much to me.”