The Bearcat alumni-athlete community is tightknit, and some of its bonds are even stronger than lifelong friendship.
Ask Director of Aquatics and Head Coach of Men’s and Women’s Swimming Charles Lampasso. Beginning his 16th year as Baruch’s swimming coach, Mr. Lampasso frequently hears from former team members—and news of engagements and marriages is not uncommon.
Is there something in the water? “No,” smiles the coach. “Unlike almost every other sport, the men’s and women’s swim teams train together. They are always with each other; they see each other at their best and worst. Bonds are formed.” He and his fellow coaching staff often witness student romances.
So he wasn’t particularly surprised by the recent wave of weddings. Two couples, former swimmers Denisse Duran Llano (’13) and R. Michael Shiwnath (’11) and Elizavetta Glotova (’16) and Miguel Meza (’16), wed this year. “Mikey is family,” says Mr. Lampasso of Groom Shiwnath. “I’ve known him since he was three.”
To date Lampasso has attended six weddings of swim-team alumni, four for which he traveled outside the country, to the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Peru, and Sweden.
This June the coach didn’t have to travel far to attend the NYC wedding of former women’s swimming captain Julia Sung (’14) and Vincent Cruz (’13). The groom wasn’t on the men’s swimming team, though. He was the captain of his volleyball and soccer teams. So how did Julia and Vinnie meet? In the weight room, in the athletics trainers’ room, and studying late in the athletics lounge, recalls Ms. Sung. “Baruch sports meant so much to us,” says Sung, “and we’re grateful for everything it’s given us personally and professionally.”
Alumni-Athlete Couples: Share your wedding photos with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.