Fornaciari leads swimming in junior season

Hunter Lyle – Sports Writer

As she dives into her third season swimming at Southern, junior and psychology major Avery Fornaciari looks to lead her team and fulfill her duties as team captain.

Teammate and athletic training major Meaghan Spagnolo said part of the reason Fornaciari was made captain was due to her work ethic and motivation.

“She definitely brings motivation and she definitely is a leader by example,” said Spagnolo. “It’s a rare day when you see her struggling in practice. Even if she is struggling, she’s still cheering everyone else on and beating herself up for struggling but she is still pushing through it. Her struggling is nowhere near bad.”

Fornaciari started swimming at the age of eight and after developing a love and passion for the sport and continued to chase her passion ever since.

“I got much more competitive around 13 or 14. I started doing USA Swimming, which is a bigger organization before I was doing rec swimming,” said Fornaciari. “There’s some kind of feeling you get from [swimming competitively] that you can’t explain. I’m a really competitive person, so I hate to lose.”

Instead of competing in high school swimming, Fornaciari chose to swim in a rec league, and after becoming for recruitment, she decided to reach out to Southern.

Coach Tim Quill, who has been leading Southern’s team for the past 20 years, was impressed with her attitude and enthusiasm towards the sport.

“[When I visited her] I saw a very strong young lady. She has a lot of energy to her, and I mean not just in the training itself, but even in her personality,” said Quill. “She’s very good to get along with, she tends to keep everybody enthusiastic about what we are doing. Those are invaluable characteristics to what I consider a model athlete.”

Quill also said that Forniciari has shown great improvement with each year she plays for the team.

“Avery has made tremendous strides in the past two years,” said Quill. “She went from just barely making the top 16 in her freshman year, her first year here, to almost winning the 100-fly last year. She’s shown all the indicators of continuing that push forward.”

In the team’s loss to Iona College in early October, Fornaciari, who specializes in butterfly and freestyle, placed first place in the 200 butterfly, with a time of 2:11.33, and finished second in the 100 butterfly, with a time of 59.94. She also placed second in the 200 yard freestyle event with a time of 1:59.26 during their win against Pace University.

As she steps into her role of being captain, Fornaciari said she wants to keep the team fire burning strong.

“Definitely bringing the team together is huge for me. Keeping everyone motivated because I think this is the hardest part of the year,” said Fornaciari. “Keeping everyone motivated is my biggest goal and also pushing everyone to limits because it’s
so easy to fall into a rhythm of just going through the motions. This team has been the most motivated I’ve seen while I’ve been here.”

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