College swimmers who are lifelong friends win courage awards

Hartford
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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The 10 winners of this year’s inaugural Hartford HealthCare Courage awards include two swimmers from different universities who have been friends since elementary school.

Katelyn Mann and Bryana Cielo grew up swimming together for the same club in New Jersey. Mann is a senior at Central Connecticut who was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma in 2017. Cielo swam for Sacred Heart but was forced to stop swimming that same year after being diagnosed with epilepsy.

Mann was declared cancer-free in time for the 2018-19 season. Cielo’s doctors and coaches permitted her to come back and swim the 50 meter freestyle at the Northeast Conference Championships, where she swam a personal best.

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