Earning two medals at the State Open and Class S swimming championships, Seymour senior Sierra Cripps exceeded the high expectations she set out our herself.
Now Cripps is getting primed for a new challenge.
From Seymour to Seton Hall — that’s what’s ahead for Cripps, who recently signed a National Letter of Intent to swim at Seton Hall University’s Division I program.
“It’s really exciting to know that I have everything done and I can enjoy my senior year for what it is,” Cripps said. “I knew Seton Hall would be a good fit for me. The swimmers and coaches are super nice, it’s a fun environment and I’m looking forward to swimming in the Big East.”
A four-season standout at Seymour, Cripps plans on majoring in nursing while at Seton Hall.
“I’m definitely looking forward to the traveling that’s involved with collegiate athletics,” Cripps said. “Traveling to compete against different colleges sounds fun and I’m excited about the team dynamic that I’ll experience. I’ll probably be swimming the 200 butterfly and 100 butterfly at Seton Hall. I’ve been sprinting in high school a lot, along with swimming the IM, so we’ll see how that goes.”
The postseason meets put the finishing touch on Cripps’ highly productive career in the pool for Seymour. She finished third in the 50-yard freestyle at the CIAC State Open Championships at Yale University’s Kiputh Pool last week, touching the wall in 23.86 seconds. Her finish was a blink of an eye behind champion Sophie Murphy of Cheshire (23.51) and runner-up Marissa Healy from Staples (23.70).
“The 50 freestyle is a crazy event to begin with, because it’s so fast,” Cripps said. “I knew everyone in that heat, we go back and forth all the time. I knew Sophie was going to be a great competitor and I was very excited with how I finished.”
In the 100-yard butterfly at the State Open, Cripps garnered her second medal, placing second in 55.47. Healy of Staples captured the 50 freestyle title in 55.47.
“I accomplished more than I expected in the 100 butterfly, which is my favorite race,” Cripps said. “I was more nervous for that race, but I was also really happy with my finish. What happened at the State Open was more than I ever hoped for. Making the podium at the Open was such a rewarding feeling.”
The Class S Championships saw Cripps captured the 50-yard freestyle title with a time of 56.02. She placed second behind Weston’s Charlotte Proceller (23.88) in the 50 freestyle (24.05) at the Class S finals.
At the Class S finals, Cripps, sophomore Kelti Johnson, sophomore Olivia Velleco and junior Anna Mrozik finished second in the 200-yard medley relay (1:51.63). Cripps was also part of Seymour’s 200 freestyle relay squad, which placed third at the meet in 1:41.02.
“Getting third as a team at the Class S meet was what we were shooting for and we did just that,” said Cripps, who broke a school record in the 100 butterfly at the Class S competition.
Prior to competing at the Class S and State Open championships, Cripps helped Seymour win the NVL title. She won the 50 freestyle (23.83) and 100 butterfly (56.36) in both meet and league times at the NVL Championships.
“Winning the NVL title was one of our team’s main goals,” Cripps said. “To win it the way we did was so impressive.”
Though the high school swim season has concluded, Cripps is currently busy competing for Woodbridge Aquatic Club, as she prepares to embark on her collegiate chapter at Seton Hall.
“Finishing my career at Seymour is definitely bittersweet,” she said. “I’m excited though, that I was able to accomplish everything I set out to do. I’m going to miss competing with these girls, hopefully a lot of them will come watch me swim at Seton Hall. I learned a lot from my coaches (Seymour coach Patrick DiCaprio, Woodbridge Aquatic Club coach Dave Reilly) and I had a lot of memorable moments.”