Quaker Valley grad Harkins filling key roles for SUNY Geneseo swimming
Quaker Valley graduate Harry Harkins is stepping up for the State University of New York at Geneseo men’s swimming team.
Harkins, a sophomore, will do more individually after qualifying for the Division III championship meet in four relays last season.
“We graduated our top 50/100/200 (yard) freestyle swimmer,” Knights coach Paul Dotterweich said. “We are looking for Harry (to) fill some of of that role.
“He has done a great job handling the responsibility and pressure that comes with it. Harry works really hard.”
Harkins has been among top finishers for the Knights (4-1), who are based in upstate New York, in every meet this season. At the Ithaca College Bomber Invitational, he anchored the 200 freestyle relay team (1 minute, 24.94 seconds) that came in third.
The Knights finished second of 11.
“It is my goal this year to make nationals in an individual event,” said Harkins, the 2017 WPIAL Class AA champion in the 50 and 100 freestyle who led the Quakers to three WPIAL titles and the 2015 PIAA crown. “It is a career goal of mine to be an All-American (in) an event.
“As a team, I hope we can send relays to nationals again this year. Before I graduate, I hope we can send a really large team to nationals.”
Harkins, who is 6-foot-2, set meet records in the 800 freestyle relay (6:51.59) and 400 freestyle relay (3:03.77) at the State University of New York Athletic Conference championship last season.
He also was first in the 200 freestyle relay (1:22.53), and helped the Knights to their fifth consecutive conference title.
He swam in all three of those events, as well as the 200 medley relay, at the NCAA championship.
Harkins, who has not declared a major, said he tries to trust the process.
“I really like to take my training day by day, even lap by lap,” he said. “While I have a lot of goals for our team as well as for myself, I try to just focus on the swimming itself.
“I have a very experienced coach, devoted team and everything I need to succeed.”
Dotterweich said he can always count on Harkins to do the right thing.
Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.