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Thoughts, news and notes from the sports staff of The Saratogian newspaper, located in historic Saratoga Springs, New York. The gang in the corner office on Lake Avenue give you the post-game wrap-ups, news and notes from the games we cover and opinions about the sports we read about every day.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Olympic swimmer Kristy Kowal to speak at Skidmore Feb. 6

Olympic medalist Kristy Kowal, who won silver in swimming at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia, will be the keynote speaker for the Skidmore College observance of National Girls and Women in Sports Day (NGWSD), Feb. 4.

Kowal’s talk, scheduled at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 6, will be in Gannett Auditorium, Palamountain Hall. A full schedule of events designed to appeal to the region’s young female athletes will be offered Saturday, Feb. 7, in the College’s sports and recreation center.

The entire Skidmore observance is free and open to the public.

Kowal broke an American record at the Sydney Olympics, placing second in the 200-meter breaststroke, where she finished in 2:24.56. In 2001, she was second in the world championships in the 50-meter breaststroke, and in 2002, she was third in the 200-meter breaststroke at the Pan Pacific Championships. While a student at the University of Georgia, she helped her team to three NCAA swimming and diving championships. She was a seven-time NCAA champion and the NCAA’s Co-Swimmer of the year in 2000. In addition, Kowal was the NCAA Woman of the Year in 2000.

Kowal had not swum year-round until the spring of 1995, when she earned a spot on the 1995 Pan Pacific team, her first international team. Upon winning her Olympic medal, Kowal told, “I have been waiting for this for so long. Winning an Olympic medal has always been a dream of mine. It didn't hit me until I was behind the award stand that I had made it.” The Reading, Penn., native earned a B.S. degree in education in 2002 and is now an elementary school teacher.

Saturday’s activities will feature sports clinics for girls in grades 3 through 8, lunch with Skidmore’s student-athletes, and the opportunity to watch a Skidmore women’s swimming and diving meet. All are free and open to the public. The schedule is as follows:

• 9:30 a.m., registration for clinics in field hockey, lacrosse, soccer, softball, tennis, and volleyball in the Sports and Recreation Center.

• 12:15 p.m., lunch with Skidmore’s student-athletes in the Dance Center gym. The lunch will include a visit from the Skidmore Thoroughbred mascot, face painting, and free give-aways.

• 1 p.m., Skidmore Women’s Swimming and Diving Invitational, Sports and Recreation Center pool.

For registration information for the Skidmore events, call 580-5394.



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