The Chautauqua Region Community Foundation recently announced Madison Kramer and Kyle Dean as the first recipients of the Holly and Peter Sullivan Fund, a scholarship awarded annually to graduating Chautauqua County High School seniors who are top performers of their high school’s swim team.
“These are two of the most talented swimmers in our area,” said longtime Frewsburg Central School swim coach, Bruce Johnson. “They have certainly earned this recognition.”
Although their final high school swim seasons have been altered due to the pandemic, both Falconer Central School senior, Kramer, and Jamestown High School senior, Dean, have accomplished many feats during their high school years.
A member of the Falconer/Frewsburg swim team, Kramer has been setting records throughout her high school career. During her junior year, she dominated the record boards in the Frewsburg pool and qualified for states where she placed 19th among public school swimmers in the 100-yard backstroke.
In her senior season this fall, she set new records in the 200-meter freestyle, 50-meter freestyle and 100-meter freestyle, breaking a 20-year school record. She also won the 200-yard freestyle and 100-yard butterfly at the Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Athletic Association Championships in October and helped lead her team to Division 1 champions. Kramer completed her high school swim career with 11 program marks.
After graduation, she will continue her academic and swimming career at St. Bonaventure University.
For Dean, last season he competed in three separate events at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Swimming and Diving Championships and put together some of his personal-best times. During the 2020 Section VI Class A Meet, he won the 100-yard freestyle and placed second in the 50-yard freestyle.
During his senior year, Dean continued his winning streak setting records all the way to the
Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Athletic Association Championships in March where he won the 50-yard and 100-yard freestyle. His time in the 50-yard freestyle was a USA Swimming Junior Nationals qualifying time. During that same event, he was a member of the wining 200-yard medley and 200-yard freestyle relay teams.
Dean, who was recently named Most Valuable Swimmer during his team’s annual awards banquet, has committed to Niagara University where he will continue his academic and swimming career in the fall.
A Passion for Swimming
According to Peter and Holly Sullivan, creating a scholarship to benefit local swimmers has been a dream of theirs for years.
“Swimming was my world as a kid and Holly has always enjoyed it, although not competitively” Peter said. “When we talked about doing something in the community, this just made sense.”
Growing up, Peter was a member of the Jamestown YMCA Swim Team. At just 10 years old, he, and the other three members of the 80-yard freestyle relay team, received national recognition from the National Amateur Athletic Union when their team placed first in the country with a time of 49.9 seconds. That same year, Peter also placed second in the state for the 20-yard freestyle for boys 10 and under.
Over the next several years, Peter competed annually for the American team in the Canadian-American Swim Meets. In 1957, his 200-yard freestyle team won the relay in the Boys 11 and 12 bracket. Peter continued swimming throughout high school and was named captain of the Swim Team at Jamestown High School.
Although he no longer swims competitively, Peter and Holly continue to be local swim supporters, both through their son, Judson’s, swimming career at JHS in the late 1990s and now through this scholarship to benefit future swimmers throughout the Chautauqua region.
“This scholarship is a great way to recognize the talent of local swimmers in our area,” Johnson said. “Sometimes swimming gets overlooked, in terms of sport scholarships, compared to football and basketball. We are grateful to have this opportunity for our student athletes.”
Each year, recipients of the Holly and Peter Sullivan Fund will be selected by a panel of local high school swim team coaching staff who will review students’ records and posted times. Additional priority may be given to students who qualify for state meets.
About the Community Foundation
Each year the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation awards over $1 million to local students wanting to achieve higher education. Scholarships are available for graduating high school seniors, undergraduate and graduate students. There are also awards available for Chautauqua County residents seeking certification outside of higher educational degree pathways.