Senior Lia Vendel swims to victory, makes history

Vendel briefly comes up for air while swimming breaststroke. She set a GMC conference record in the 100-yard breaststroke this year.


            Senior Lia Vendel will graduate as one of the most accomplished swimmers in the program’s history. Her achievements include setting school and county records and leading the girls swim team to the GMC Championships by the largest margin in GMC history.

            Vendel, considered the team’s MVP, achieved many accomplishments and set numerous records this season, a significant amount coming from the GMCs in addition to school titles. “I have 2 individual records as well as 2 relay records and 2 GMC records,” Vendel summarized.

            Vendel became the GMC Champion in both the 100-yard breaststroke and 200-yard individual medley. In the 100-yard breaststroke, Vendel set a new conference record at the GMCs. But this is just one of the many records the swimmer holds. “She holds school records in a total of 4 events including the 100-yard breaststoke, 200-yard Individual Medley, 200 Yard Medley Relay and the 400 Yard Freestyle Relay,” Coach Robert Weiss Jr. stated.

Vendel poses for a picture after setting a Greater Middlesex County Conference record for the 100-yard breast stroke.

            Vendel’s achievements did not occur overnight. “During the past 4 years I have been putting in a lot of work to accomplish these successes,” Vendel emphasized. She attributed much of this success to her consistency and dedication to the sport. “I come to every practice and lift to become stronger,” the swimmer added.

            The swimmer’s career is set to continue at Wagner College next year. “She will be swimming in college at the DIVSION I level at Wagner College,” Weiss informed. Colleges split their athletes and teams into 3 divisions (division 1, 2, and 3) that the National Collegiate Athletic Association, or NCAA, runs. Being a “D1” athlete puts you in the most competitive environments with the most talented players and teams. Vendel, a soon-to-be D1 athlete, is thrilled to pick up her swimming career where she left off at Wagner. “I am super excited to continue my swimming career at Wagner college and couldn’t have done it without the work and the time at the pool every day,” she stated.

            Vendel, through her countless accomplishments and records, has left a profound imprint on this school and is only set to accomplish more in the near future. Weiss concluded, “She is perhaps the most impressive swimmer I have ever coached.”

Vendel quickly takes a breath while swimming freestyle down the lane.

Posted on 6/13/22

Photos provided by Robert Weiss

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