A Spartan Profile: Men's Swimmer Matt Jennings

Covered by swim caps and goggles, it can be very hard to identify swimmers competing during any given meet. The York College men’s swim team is very fortunate to have a number of those caps and goggles finish at or near the front of the pack during any given race.

The Spartans are also fortunate to have Matthew Jennings on their side. The senior standout is closing out his career as one of the best swimmers to ever hit the water for the Green and White.

Jennings, who hails from Fairfax, Va. and Robinson High School, has been a standout performer for the Spartans for the last four years. It’s no coincidence that the last four years have been the best stretch in the history of the men’s program. The Spartans are 37-4 overall, 21-4 in the Capital Athletic Conference and are a perfect 16-0 in non-conference dual meets.

Jennings’ contributions in the pool over the last four-years have been numerous. His accomplishments in the Capital Athletic Conference championships are also impressive. In three championship appearances leading up to his senior campaign, Jennings has two individual firsts and has been a member of five different winning relay teams. He has posted a pair of individual runner-up finishes and six second-place relay teams. Jennings also has two third-place finishes and he has a wonderful opportunity to add to those numbers at this weekend’s CAC championships.

As impressive as his accomplishments are in the pool, his academic credentials are equally as stellar. Jennings is a mass communication major with a double minor of marketing and advertising. He carries a 3.34 GPA and has been a three time member of the York College Athletic honor roll and a two-time selection for the CAC All-Academic squad.

Jennings felt from the beginning that York College was the place for him.

“York College was a perfect fit for me. It was the right distance from home; not to far away but also not too close. I really liked the communications program and small class sizes. Plus having a competitive swim program allowed me to extend my athletic career another four years.”

Despite the high demands of being an elite level college swimmer, Jennings is also active on the York College campus. He is an inaugural member of the Lambda Pi Eta, the Communications Honor Society at York College. He also has participated in the Relay for Life on campus. Jennings currently has an internship at the York Area chapter of the Red Cross. He has previously served as a caller for the York College Phone-a-thon.

Spartan head coach Gina McHenry knows Jennings’ value, not only as a swimmer, but also as a leader.

“Matt is a leader in and out of the pool,” says McHenry. “Our team knows they can depend on him for leadership and great performance. Matt is a very hard working swimmer who has accomplished great things in the pool and in the classroom. He really understands what it takes to accomplish all his goals.”

Jennings enjoys the advantages of York College, both athletically and in the classroom.

“The great thing about York is how each individual student can have a personal relationship with their professors,” states Jennings. “I really like how professors know you by name and you aren’t just a number to them. I feel the athletic program allows student-athletes to grow, improve, and succeed at the highest level. The Grumbacher Center is top of the line and provides each student-athlete at York with the resources and equipment they need to achieve their goals.”

Jennings and the Spartans travel to St. Mary’s College to participate in the 2009 Capital Athletic Conference championships on February 13, 14, & 15.