Veronica Ormrod did not follow the typical path to becoming the best in her swimming event in the state of Connecticut. Most of the top competitive swimmers train year-round from a youngage and by the time they reach high school have fine-tuned their skills. Veronica joined the Branford High School Swim team as a freshman with no competitive swimming background. She began in the slowest practice lane with the other first-time swimmers but it didn’t take long for Coach O’Connor to realize that she had the ability to be something special. She was tall with long arms and had a toughness about her that couldn’t be taught.
Her freshman year was a struggle as she adjusted to the demands of competitive swimming and living up to the expectations her coaches put on her. After her freshman high school season ended Veronica joined the Branford Stingrays and under the direction of George Miles (HOF-1995) she made great strides. By her sophomore year at Branford, she was vastly improved and became the teams top backstroker. Each year she continued her improvement and by senior year she led the Branford team to win the Class M state Championship. At the 1998 Class M state Championships, Veronica led off the first place medley relay, placed second in the 50-yard free, placed first in the 100-yard backstroke in a Class M state record time of 58.54 and then led off the 400 yd freestyle relay that placed first. She was named to the All-State team in all four events. At the State Open Championships, which brings the top swimmers from all four State Championships together,
Veronica continued her dominance by winning the 100-yard backstroke by over a second and set another Branford record in a time of 58.51. After graduating from Branford HS Veronica attended Indian River State College in Fort Pierce, Florida. Indian River recruits swimmers from across the United States and the world and annually wins the National Junior College Swimming and Diving Championship. Veronica helped Indian River continue this tradition by winning the National Junior College Championship in the 100-yard backstroke and as part of the winning 200 yard and 400-yard freestyle relay. After Junior college Veronica enrolled at Southern CT State University where she set a number of school records. She earned All-American designation as a result of her top 8 finish at the NCAA
Division II National Championships. Veronica’s success in swimming was due to a combination of talent, focus and hard work. When her competitive swimming career ended it took awhile before she found something she could commit to with the same enthusiasm that she embraced swimming. That something was the birth of her daughter London. To make a better life for London, Veronica went back to college and this year earned her nursing degree and passed the test to be a registered nurse. Three years ago, Susan Lecza (HOF-2015), head age group coach of the Soundview Y Stingrays swim team, recruited Veronica to be an assistant coach with the Soundview Stingrays. This has been an opportunity for Veronica to give back to the swimming community and she has been motivating another generation of swimmers. This year London will be joining the mini-Stingrays and she wants to be faster than mommy.
Veronica comes from a family of athletes, from her parents Jeffrey and Ann Ormrod, to her brothers Matt and Dan, who were star athletes at Branford HS in swimming and baseball. Veronica’s grandfather is Donald Ormrod, the first head basketball coach and athletic director at the University of New Haven. The Branford Sports Hall of Fame is proud to induct Veronica and recognize her many accomplishments.