East swimmer Angela Merch committed to Ithaca College

Angela Merch (22) swimming in a meet for her team.

Courtesy of Angela Merch ('22)

Angela Merch (’22) swimming in a meet for her team.

Angela Merch (‘22) has committed to Ithaca College to continue her academic and swimming career. She started swimming at just 7 years old and has stuck with the sport ever since. Freestyle is one of Merch’s favorite strokes, however, the individual medley is her strongest event. The individual medley consists of freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke, and butterfly. Merch loves competing. She has adapted to balancing her busy swim schedule with school and home life. During high school, Merch was swimming for both her club team, South Jersey Aquatic Club (SJAC), and Cherry Hill High School East. While Merch practiced and had meets with SJAC, she also swam at all of the meets for East. Both teams had incredibly competitive environments, but Merch continued to succeed. Although it was a lot at times, Merch claims she “had a lot of fun, especially on the East team.” She was able to build friendships and create amazing memories that guided her throughout her swimming career.
Merch started swimming due to her older sister, Karolyn Merch. Karolyn began a few years before Merch at their summer swim club. As her older sister, Karolyn inspired Merch to consider taking on swimming as a sport. Merch then decided to try it out too and has been heavily involved in swimming ever since. In addition, Karolyn has also motivated Merch to keep swimming over the years. It is important to have a strong support system, which Karolyn has always been able to do for Merch.
Throughout Merch’s swimming career at East, her favorite memory is winning States during her sophomore year. Merch shared that it, “was a really exciting and competitive meet, and such a great way to end our undefeated season.” Big accomplishments, such as winning states, were incredibly helpful in motivating Merch to continue swimming in her future.
For Merch, parts of the recruiting process were difficult due to Covid. The process was unusual, especially when it came to visiting campuses and meeting with the swim coaches and teams. Despite any challenges she faced, such as virtual rather than in person events, Merch decided that Ithaca was a great fit. In the beginning of this school year, Merch started talking to the Ithaca coach and felt like she would be a helpful asset to the team. After connecting with the coach, “[she] got to visit the campus and meet with the coach and team. It was just a really great experience.” Merch fell in love and officially committed around the New Year.
Besides Ithaca, she also considered Gettysburg College and Rowan University. Though they were both great options, she felt at home when she visited Ithaca. Regardless, she is grateful for the opportunities given to her by both Gettysburg and Rowan.
Merch has exciting things coming her way and she left a great legacy behind at East. We know she will continue to thrive and do great things! Her East family will always be there to support her, and wishes her the best of luck moving forward!