Since Griger is the oldest of four sisters who swim, Whitman said that he will look to recruit them as well.
Griger said that her dramatic improvement has to do with more intense training in college. “I swam on the club team and the high school team in Cooperstown, but here, the training is much harder,” she said.
She said the team practices about 20 hours a week, and that’s not counting the 12 hour meet days.
“We do abs with a strength and conditioning coach, and weight training,” she said. “Off season we try to do different cardio, running as well as swimming. I’m definitely in the best shape I’ve ever been in during a season.”
Between school, where she is majoring in biology with an interest in pursuing a career in health care, and all the training, Griger said she doesn’t have a lot of free time. “Luckily my teammates are all my best friends,” she said. “We have a great time together.”
Although Griger said that being all conference was an honor, she does lament how close she came to moving on, adding that the time commitment is worth it since she has yet to achieve her goals.
“I’m looking forward to competing next year,” she said. “Qualifying for nationals is my ultimate goal. I was so close this year.”
Cooperstown girls swim coach Katy Hasely said she wasn’t surprised by Griger’s success at New Paltz.
“I knew Cassidy had the potential to excel at a college level,” Haseley said. “She has absolutely blossomed with the intense level of training.”
Griger’s other coach, her mom, said she was also not surprised.
“It’s been great to watch Cassidy develop as an athlete,” she said. “She really has pushed herself dramatically at New Paltz.”
Both women point out that Griger didn’t have a lot of competition in high school, and had to rely mostly upon herself to progress.
This summer, Griger will be home, doing some open-water training in Otsego Lake.
“I just dive off the dock on the lake front and swim out one half a mile or so, then back,” she said.