New York. If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere, the old song says.
Well, two of Torrington’s three Traub family swimming kids have made it in spades.
Eric, a senior at Columbia University, was the first to go, finding rampant success with the Lions.
Now Krista, a sophomore, has made her mark at NYU.
She helped set four new school relay team records at last month’s Division III Nationals in Indianapolis while the Violets elected her one of their captains next year as a junior.
(Matt, a junior at Torrington High School, is still busy setting records for the Red Raiders.)
Krista, who turns 20 today, was slightly influenced in her choice of schools by her older brother’s presence in New York.
“I like being close to him, even though it’s a half-hour away by train, with the transfers,” she said.
Her experience in New York City prior to enrolling at NYU was limited to school trips and visits to see Eric swim.
Now, he comes to see her.
“My times have dropped tremendously since I’ve been in college,” says Krista, who helped lead her team to three NVL Championships at Torrington. “We train more, with lifting and dry land drills on top of that. I do strength training specifically for the events I’m swimming.”
It adds up, in her most recent achievement, to helping set school records at Indianapolis in four of the five relays she swam in — the 200-yard medley relay (1:45.19); 400-yard medley relay (3:53.42); 200-yard freestyle relay (1:36.37); and 400-yard freestyle relay (3:31.64).
Her best times in individual events have dropped to :58.72 in the 100-yard butterfly; 1:07.3 in the 100 breaststroke; 2:09.40 in the 200 individual medley; and :53.10 in the 100-yard freestyle.
NYU is a member of the eight-school University Athletic Association (UAA), which sprawls as far south as Atlanta (Emory University) and as far as far west as Chicago (University of Chicago).
“I like to travel,” Traub grins.
The team of about 60 is co-ed, which helps with the bonding.
“I like it a lot because they push you,” said Traub. “It’s fun when you beat them and they get yelled at.
“We’re much closer because we’re co-ed. In high school, with all girls, we were a sisterhood. College is more of a family.”
And then there’s New York.
“I love (NYU),” she says. “It’s completely different from any other school. Coming from a small town, it’s a lot different.”
Having a big brother around helped her acclimatize last year. This year, she sails the city with confidence.
“Columbia is on the upper west side; NYU is on the lower east side toward Greenwich Village,” she says. “Columbia has a gate with a campus. NYU is basically living in the city. You know they’re NYU buildings by seeing the purple flags.
“The farthest I have to walk is about a mile — which is to morning practice. I live on 14th street and the classrooms go up to 23rd.”
Eric is coming over today to help celebrate Krista’s birthday. They’re going to a chocolate-themed restaurant called Max Brenner.
When they get there, they might reflect that a couple of hard-training swimmers from Torrington have come a long way.
More likely they’ll tell you, “There’s no treats like New York’s.”