Folsom swimmers choose colleges

By: Matt Long, Sports Editor
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Two Folsom High swimmers have their future plans set in stone.

Kelsey Gasch has chosen the University Denver to continue her athletic and academic career, while Bret Bonzell is headed to Boston College.

Gasch, 17, chose Denver over Northern Colorado, San Diego State and the University of South Carolina. Gasch visited the school over spring break.

“I fell in love with the atmosphere and the area around the school,” Gasch said. “I wanted to find a college with big school spirit without 21,000 students. Denver is small with only about 5,000 undergrads.”

When Gasch visited the school, she took a tour of the campus, met with the assistant swim coach and renewed acquaintances with a former teammate with the Sierra Marlins, now swimming for Denver. She immediately fell in love with the area.

“The area is really nice and the campus is spread out and I really like it,” Gasch said. “There are a lot of old houses and it’s a historic area.”

Gasch has been swimming for the Sierra Marlins for 10 years and favors the 200 individual medley and 100 butterfly, while also swimming the 100 breast stroke. While her best event is the 200 IM, where her top time is 2 minutes, 12 seconds, Gasch said her favorite event is the 100 butterfly.

“I like the sprints and once you get into a rhythm it feels good,” Gasch said.

Last year at the Sac-Joaquin Section championships, Gasch placed 16th in the 200 IM in 2:14.22 and finished 19th in the 100 butterfly in 1:01.17. This year she said she’d like to win the 200 and either 100 breast or 100 butterfly in the Delta River League and place in the top-eight in sections in both events.

Gasch has earned a centennial scholarship and plans to walk on to the swim team.

Bonzell chose Boston College over Eastern Illinois University, Villanova and Providence, where he will also walk on to the swim team.

“I visited Boston College in October and I got a great sense of brotherhood within the team,” Bonzell said. “The campus is absolutely beautiful and the nightlife is amazing.”

Boston College is located in Chestnut Hill, which is a 20-minute ride from Boston, according to Bonzell.

Bonzell, 17, has been swimming with the Marlins for eight years. His top events are the 200 backstroke and 100 butterfly. His best time in the 200 backstroke is 1:58 during the short-course season and 2:11 during the long course.

Last season at sections, Bonzell placed 13th in the 200 IM in 1:59.27 and finished 18th in the 100 butterfly in 54.11. His high school goal this season is to finish the 100 butterfly in 52 seconds, while with the Marlins he wants to make the cut for Jr. Nationals in the 200 backstroke of 2:08.

Bonzell plans to study Biology at Boston College.