Renee swimming her signature event, the 100 meter butterfly as part of the national championship Ft. Lauderdale Swim Team

Coach Kevin Gilson coaching Renee at 1992 NCAA Championships

Renee with Ft Lauderdale Head and USA Swimming Hall of Fame Coach Jack Nelson

.The 1993 Eastern Invitational-WVU Women's Swimming and Diving Championship Team.  Renee was meet MVP

Renee Riccio McCutchan

Renee Riccio McCutchan began swimming at The Park Hills Country Club when she was just six years old.  She decided at such a young age to give the sport a try when she saw how much her brother, Phil was  enjoying it.  That first summer, when she joined The Park Hills Summer Leagure, she fell in love with the water and never looked back.

 

Her awards and accomplishments began early.  It all started when she broke the ten and under national  YMCA record for the 50 Freestyle.  Fast forward to high school. By the end of her sophomore year, she held all of the high school records at Altoona Arrea High School.  Then, after moving on to The Peddie Prep School, she was a team co-captain.  In her senior year, she was a four-timehigh school All-American.

 

At West Virginia Univieersity, she was co-captain both her junior and senior years.  She was also Big East Conference MVP for her Sophomore, Junior and Senior years, as well as a three time honorable mention All-American.

Also, while attending WVU, she placed 13th in the 100 meter butterfly during the 1992 Olympic Trials.

 

Reflecting back on the awesome experience, she remembers walking into I.U.P.U.I with her coach, Coach Gilson.  He told her, "Take it all in.  Enjoy every minute of this experience." He was right, because there was so much to take in.  Still to this day, she says, "I still get chills."  She remembers the emotional experience of looking up and seeing her name on the board.

To read the complete interview with Renee, please check out the upcoming book release They Came From Blair County due out by the end of the year.

**Information for this article was obtained through a phone interview with Renee Riccio McCutchan

**All photos come from the personal collection of Renee Riccio McCutchan

© 2020 They Came From PA/Shields Entertainment