LEWISTON, Maine -- Head coach of the Bates College swimming and diving teams Peter Casares is delighted to announce the appointment of perhaps the program's best all-time performer, Vanessa Williamson '05, as the teams' new assistant swim coach.
Williamson was an eight-time All-America performer at Bates, and she powered Bates' two best team finishes at the NCAA Division III Championships in 2003 and 2004 (17th and 18th place, respectively). She still holds program records in the 100- and 200-yard butterfly, as well as the 200 individual medley.
"Vanessa knows what it is like to bring a team to the big dance!" said Casares. "Her success at both the NESCAC and national level are fantastic accomplishments, and will serve us greatly in terms of preparation, advice, and vision for what is possible."
After graduating from Bates, Williamson trained in Irvine, Calif., under U.S. Olympic head coach Dave Salo, along with such well-known teammates as Amanda Beard, Jessica Hardy and Rebecca Soni. "Her connections to swimming, big meets, and elite programs are unparalleled," said Casares. The Auburn, Maine, native remained in California and coached at the high school and club level for five years, as well as guest-coaching stints at two of Bates' annual training trips to Florida.
"Vanessa is clearly someone that can help us at both the 'been there and done that' level -- and also in the coaching, planning, and teaching side of things. She has hit the ground running," said Casares.