By Joseph Staszewski

Georgia Goldman knew the importance of performing well at the New York YMCA State championship in March.

Her future depended on it.

The Mary Louis senior, swimming with her Cross Island YMCA Barracudas travel team, was counting on a strong showing to convince college coaches she was worthy of a scholarship. Her times in the 100- and 200-yard backstroke had needed improvement.

“I knew I had to get them down, so I trained really hard for that specifically,” Goldman said.

Her marks fell to record lows. Goldman won both the 100- and 200-yard backstroke and did so by setting YMCA state records with times of 58.32 and 2:09.85. Her performance got the attention of Marist coaches and the wheels were set in motion for her to land with the Red Foxes.

“It’s a great feeling to know hard work pays off, especially when you train every day,” Goldman said.

Goldman, who wants to major in business or fashion marketing, became the fifth Mary Louis swimmer in the last six years to head to a Division I school when she signed a National Letter of Intent in Jamaica Hills with the Red Foxes last week.

She chose Marist over Binghamton and Iona. The Douglaston native felt a sense of family with Marist. Goldman is used to a tight-knit team at Mary Louis and found the same bond at Marist despite a larger squad.

“The swim team, they have a big sense of family there,” Goldman said. “Everyone is really close, which is exactly what I am looking for in a team because the team that I am on is small. To have a team so big that is very close, that helps out a lot.”

She has been swimming competitively for 10 years, beginning at the Douglaston Swim Club, but Goldman didn’t always believe competing on the college level was possible. Mary Louis Coach Ellen Lynch said Goldman came into her own as a sophomore. By the end of that year, she took off and beat out a senior for a chance to swim the backstroke leg of the 200-yard medley relay at the State Federation championship.

It’s the relay that consists of the team’s best swimmers for each stroke.

“At that point I noticed it and she noticed … she could be really good and really fast,” Lynch said.

As a senior, Goldman won second in the 100-yard backstroke at the CHSAA state championship behind current record holder Melissa Bishchoff of St. Anthony’s and helped the TMLA 100-yard freestyle relay team to a silver medal, just three hundredths behind the first-place Friars.

Lynch expects great things from her at Marist: “With her drive and her natural talent, she will be able to reach goals that she never really thought were reachable or achievable before.”

Goldman is just happy all of her hours of hard work will allow her to continue to swim at the next level, and she is excited for what is to come.

“It’s a really big achievement,” Goldman said. “I know the training is going to be hard, but I’m looking forward to it.”

Mary Louis had five other athletes sign National Letters of Intent on the same day Goldman inked hers. Simone Hobdy is headed to Niagara to play basketball, and Stephanie Osuji (Albany), Seona Maloney (Adelphi) and Nicole Hubert (Molloy) will run track at the next level. Rachel Spaminato commited to play soccer at NYIT.

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