AROUND THE HORN: Meriden’s Barber tabbed for ECSU Hall of Fame; Cheshire brings aboard new girls swim coach

AROUND THE HORN: Meriden’s Barber tabbed for ECSU Hall of Fame; Cheshire brings aboard new girls swim coach

WILLIMANTIC — Former Maloney and Eastern Connecticut State University swimmer Sarah Barber now lives in West Des Moines, Iowa, where she works for Principal Financial Group.

She’ll be coming home October 20-21. You can bank on it. That’s the weekend she’ll be inducted into ECSU’s E-Club Athletic Hall of Fame.

Barber is just the second swimmer to be selected for the Division III school’s Hall of Fame. The other was also a Meriden native and Maloney grad: Amy Golas.

Barber — now Sarah Grundfast; her husband Eric is also an ECSU grad — made an indelible mark for the Warriors in the 500, 1000 and 1650-yard freestyle events. As Sports Information Director Bob Molta put it, the discussion of the most dominant distance freestyler in the 22-year history of ECSU women’s swimuming program begins and ends with Barber.

In her four-year career from 2004-2008, Barber won eight New England Division II-III and four Little East Conference individual championships. Her program records in the 500 (5:11.31), 1000 (10:39.00) and 1650 (17:50.80) still stand. She remains the only Eastern swimmer to date to earn points at the ECAC Open.

In total, Barber broke school records on 20 different occasions, including in the 200 freestyle, 200 IM and 400 IM. She was her team’s Rookie of the Year and four-time Most Valuable Swimmer.

This year’s E-Club Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Reception, the 25th annual, is Saturday, Oct. 20 at the Betty R. Tipton Room in the Student Center. A 4 p.m. reception will precede the 5 p.m. ceremony. A buffet meal follows the ceremony.

Tickets are $50 and must be reserved in advance by contacting Scott Smith at 860-465-4326 or at

Cheshire hires new girls swim coach

CHESHIRE — David Modzelewski, head zone team coach for the Wilton YMCA, has been hired as the new head coach of the Cheshire High School girls swimming program.

Modzelewski replaces Dan Mascolo, who stepped down this spring to take a position with the Spartanburg YMCA in Spartanburg, S.C.

Modzelewski has big shoes to fill. Mascolo, in his six years at Cheshire, compiled a 62-2 dual-meet record. His teams won four regular-season SCC titles, six SCC championship meets and the 2017 CIAC Class L title.

Wilton is no slouch when it comes to swimming. Wilton High has won eight state titles in girls swimming and 10 in boys swimming.

“Dave was a perfect fit for the position replacing Dan,” Cheshire Athletic Director Steve Trifone remarked Tuesday in announcing the hire. “He brings to Cheshire quite a bit of experience developing competitive swimmers. He is highly respected in the swimming community and will help to continue the tradition of a competitive Cheshire High School girls swim program."

Trifone had to fill both of Cheshire High’s head swim coaching positions this summer. The boys coach, Kevin Reeder, stepped down after a job change at ESPN. He was replaced by Megan McGorry, an All-State swimmer at West Haven High School, a three-time Northeast Conference champ at Central Connecticut State and a 2012 Olympic trials qualifier. 


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