Strasen Leaves Legacy, Takes Memories to Vermont

Strasen+Leaves+Legacy%2C+Takes+Memories+to+Vermont

Photo I. Hanewicz

Bailey Adams, Sports Editor

A dear friend, in the form of a picture clipped on the inside of her bag, looks on as Maddie Strasen (’16) arrives with a few teammates for 5 a.m. swim practice.

Three years ago, the life of her longtime coach, Kelley Allen, was taken at age 49.

“[He is] my primary motivation to develop into the best swimmer and person I can be,” she said. “I want to make him proud.”

Strasen, who committed to the University of Vermont last Sunday, will carry his memory with her when she heads up north to start her college career.

“I don’t think it makes a big difference where I am in the country or even the world, the memory of him follows all of his swimmers everywhere they go,” she said.

She decided on Vermont over Colorado State, Southwestern, Siena and North Florida. For as big of a decision as it was, it came easily. Everything about the school, according to Strasen, is ideal. Its location, academics, and accepting culture made a good impression on her immediately.

“I knew Vermont was the school for me the second I walked on campus,” she said. “I definitely had a gut feeling.”

The thought of being a collegiate swimmer didn’t occur to Strasen until midway through her freshman year, but now, she welcomes the opportunity to be a part of something bigger than herself. On her official visit last weekend, she was welcomed by the team with open arms.

“The team was so open,” she said. “[They] asked me questions, as well as answered my questions, even the upperclassmen. I couldn’t ask for a better coaching staff.”

As she leaves Robinson to join the Catamounts next summer, Strasen leaves behind a legacy that includes four individual school records, two relay records and three years as the team’s captain.

“High school swimming taught me how to have fun with the sport,” she said. “Being a part of the Robinson swim team was different than being on any other team.”