Official Press Release
TAC Titans swimmer Ashlyn Butkowski has verbally committed to swim on a four-year scholarship for the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She plans to study kinesiology in preparation to go on for her doctorate of physical therapy. Having just turned 17 last month, this distance freestyler is excited to keep practicing and competing this year before she heads out next fall to train with Women’s Swimming & Diving Head Coach Bob Newcomb and his staff in Amherst.
Swimming for Apex High School and the TAC Titans simultaneously have helped prepare Ashlyn for the rigor she’ll face in college, although her mom jokes that she isn’t so sure her NC native is prepared for the weather in the Northeast. “She’s going to have to buy a whole new wardrobe just to keep warm!” She started swimming in the popular Raleigh area summer swim league at just 4 years old but didn’t take up competitive swimming until age 7. “You would never have known at four that she would someday be a competitive swimmer,” her mom says, “she really only swam to be with her friends.”
Butkowski is honored to swim for such a prestigious school. After her official visit, she said, “I fell in love with the school and immediately felt at home there. Both the team and the coaches were so supportive of me, and I know I will get a great education and have an incredible swimming experience. I couldn’t be more excited!” For a swimmer, Butkowski is tiny. Standing at only 5’7” in a sport dominated by six-foot tall women, her dedication as a student-athlete is key to her success. She has also earned Scholastic All-American status, which requires the fulfillment of both athletic and academic standards.
TAC Titans Head Coach Raz Cuparencu says, “Ashlyn’s determination and persistence has gotten her where she is. She’s an integral part of our team, always encouraging her teammates and leading by example. This girl is the one who will come from behind in a race to win.” Cuparencu helped found the Titans in 2013 and his training philosophy has helped grow the program to more than 600 swimmers in just over two years. “I’m proud of her leadership skills and her ability to push herself while still looking out for her team and mentoring younger swimmers.” Cuparencu said.
Apex HS swim coach, Kevin Maksinchuk says that Ashlyn’s team spirit, leadership skills and ability to encourage her teammates will serve her well in college, “Swimming can be thought of as an individual sport, but Ashlyn’s cheerful, loud energy is infectious to any team she’s on. She is a great role model for our younger girls.” He adds, “They’re very lucky to have her.”
TAC Titans Head Coach
The TAC Titans swim team, founded in 2013, is a non-profit USA Swimming team that strives to develop each athlete to their greatest individual potential. The professional coaching staff, led by Head Coach Raz Cuparencu, develops swimmers who can achieve at their peak in the water, in the classroom and in life. The team trains at the world-class Triangle Aquatic Center located at 275 Convention Center Drive in Cary, NC and can be contacted at www.TACTitans.com or 919-459-4045.