June 20, 2013
PITTSBURGH - As the University of Pittsburgh swimming program makes its way to the ACC, a new recruit from a familiar place looks to add some additional support to an already strong program.
The Panthers took third place in the Big East Championship for both the men and the women in 2013, but lost five seniors from the men’s team and six from the women’s team. Of these swimmers, two – Joanna Budzis and Adam Maczewski – were from Warsaw, Poland. Despite the loss of Budzis and Maczewski, head coach Chuck Knoles has recruited from Poland again, this time bringing to Pitt incoming freshman Kinga Cichowska.
Cichowska is just coming off a gold medal performance in the 100 breaststroke final at the Polish Long Course Championships in Olsztyn, Poland on June 15 with a time of 1:11.18. Cichowska swims for MKP Slowianka Gorzow Wielkopolski in Poland. Her team’s record for the 100 breaststroke was set by Paulina Zachoszcz, a former teammate of Cichowska’s. In the gold medal race at the Polish Long Course Championships, Cichowska bested Zachoszcz, her former teammate and record-holder, for her sixth national championship in Poland. She unofficially registered the fastest Polish time for this event in 2013, and her time for the 100 breaststroke is unofficially ranked twelfth among all European swimmers according to mysportsrecords.com.
As a Polish swimmer coming to Pitt, Kinga Cichowska has big shoes to fill. Joanna Budzis won twelve events last season, including the 100 back (twice), the 200 back (twice), the 200 IM (twice) and the 400 IM. She came in fourth in the Big East Championship in the 200 IM and third in the 200 medley relay. Adam Maczewski, from the men’s team, was undefeated in the 100 backstroke during his four years and was the 2013 Big East Champion in this event.
Cichowska dominated the Polish swimming world throughout her junior career, and hopes to have continued success as a Panther. In addition to her six national championships, she has also won gold medals competing in the National Junior Olympics.