North Penn Trio Commits to Swim at Collegiate Level

On Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018, North Penn seniors Claudia Thamm, Parker Schulz and Ryley Fein were recognized for signing letters of intent to compete in swimming at the collegiate level.  To view photos of the event, please visit the Photo Gallery at the following link:

Ryley Fein – West Virginia University (Swimming)
Final list of colleges:  West Virginia, Penn State
Reasons for choosing West Virginia:  “When I first got down there, I actually felt welcome right away, so I knew it was going to be a good fit for me.”
What was the progression that led you to competing in swimming at the collegiate level?  “I have been swimming pretty much all my life, so it felt right to just continue through college.”
Favorite high school sports memory:  “My favorite memory was in water polo last year when we won states for the first time in a while.”
Coach Jeff Faikish says:  “Ryley is another athlete who has – in his career – had a little bit of ups and downs. As a matter of fact, in our sport, it’s pretty difficult for you to take any amount of time off and come back and reach a level of success. However, for Ryley, I think it was one of the best things that happened. He took some time off from our sport, and when he came back, he was fully motivated. Swimming is a very thankless sport. You’re staring at a black line for hours and hours and hours, and sometimes it eats away at you. Ryley was able to come back to that sport with a full head of steam and passion and a lot of motivation. He had – for the boys’ team – one of the most exciting races. The top eight in the state swim in the final championships for a chance to win the gold, so he tied for eighth and had a swim-off. The boy he was swimming against was a full-on sprinter, so his first half of the race was going to be faster. Ryley came up to me and said, ‘I’m going to back-half it.’ Well, Ryley ended up nearly breaking the school record and qualified for Junior Nationals en route to touching that kid out and making it to the finals at states. He is sorely going to missed in the sprint and middle distance swims.”
About Ryley:
Favorite food: 
Favorite movie:  Happy Gilmore
Favorite music:  Post Malone

Parker Schulz – Towson University (Swimming)
Exercise Science
Final list of colleges:  Towson, Nova Southeastern
Reasons for choosing Towson:  “I chose Towson because the team is probably the best team I’ve ever met, and the coach is probably going to be my best friend. The academics – it’s just made perfect for me.”
What was the progression that led you to competing in swimming at the collegiate level?  “I would be the first person in my family to go to college in general, and I thought it would be cool to carry on the start of my family.”
Favorite high school sports memory:  “My favorite memory would be last year when I came through for the relay. That was probably the biggest rush in my life, and it felt really good.”
Coach Jeff Faikish says:  “Parker is very unique athlete. She’s a full-time swimmer, and she’s a summer club swimmer I’ve seen grow up through the years as well. She came onto the scene as a freshman and had a full head of steam and a lot of promise ahead of her. Sophomore year she took a little bit of a hit on the nose, but her determination and perseverance spoke louder than any of the adversity she faced. She came back and had probably one of the most exciting races at the state championships last year. Going into the fourth leg of the final race of the state championship swim meet – it was the 400 free relay, we were en route to winning a state championship. Our rival team is next to us who spoke a little bit of competitive trash going into that race, and we were not winning at point in time of the exchange. Parker dives in – it’s only four lengths of the pool, and two lengths in we were still behind. Parker was able to pull it out and had one of the most exciting finishes in the entire state championship meet. She brings that enthusiasm with her whenever she races.”
About Parker:
Favorite food: 
Favorite movie:  The Purge
Favorite music:  Hip Hop/Rap

Claudia Thamm – Auburn University (Swimming)
Political Science
Final list of colleges:  Auburn, Penn State, Ohio State, University of Buffalo
Reasons for choosing Auburn:  “I decided to go to Auburn because it was kind of far away. As soon as I got there, I just felt really welcomed by everyone, and I really liked the South and how different it was.”
What was the progression that led you to competing in swimming at the collegiate level?  “I think it’s every athlete’s dream to play a sport in college and to continue what you love doing, so I knew from when I started swimming that I always wanted to continue swimming, especially in college.”
Favorite high school sports memory:  “My favorite memory has to be freshman year when we won states for the first time in like 20 years. As a freshman, you feel so little, so to be a part of something that big is just an amazing feeling.”
Coach Jeff Faikish says:  “I coach summer club in the local community, I’ve watched all these kids grow up. The first time I really saw Claudia step on the scene was at Junior Olympics in the winter. At that time, I wasn’t coaching at North Penn, but I saw this little spitfire get up on the block and just take control of a race at nine or 10 years old. That kind of set the tone for who she became as an athlete through her career. She is one of the top female athletes to ever grace the pool at North Penn both in swimming and in water polo. The girls’ water polo team won the state championship. Claudia was one of the team leaders. However, in the championship game, she was held scoreless right up until about 11 seconds were left in the game. She scored the game-winning goal that led to a state championship.
“Claudia is also the school record holder in a couple of events, and anybody who knows anything about North Penn swimming – that means she’s one of the top swimmers in the country. She’s a Junior National qualifier and a Winter National qualifier, which puts her in the top three to five percent of the swimmers in the United States. She’s a team leader. She’s the voice of reason at times when I push too hard, as most coaches do. She has no fear stepping up and speaking for the program. She will be very sorely missed.”
About Claudia:
Favorite food: 
Buffalo Chicken Dip
Favorite movie:  She’s the Man
Favorite music:  Thomas Rhett