Please visit our previous Seasons in Review by clicking on the "Archives" link on the menu bar to the left.
|Captains||Meghan Boyle||Jillian Smerechniak|
|CJ Arena||Conor Rutigliano|
|Boys' 2016-17 Results|
They did it again!
Hard work ALWAYS pays off! This team is not ready to surrender. They followed the blueprint from last year and focused on one race, one event, one meet, at a time. CJ Arena set a new school record, and Andrew Stange was a double winner.. but it took a TEAM to WIN!
Andrew Stange swam back to back (sounds like the theme of the night) and won the 200 free, one of Fordham's strongest events. Dylan Champagne also swam a state qualifying 1:46.34 to give the Friars a 9-7 score in the event... further building the Friar lead by 2.
Michael Chang (1:55.00), CJ Arena (1:57.33) and Ian Fitzpatrick (2:02.58) combined to go an even 8-8 in the 200 IM.
Conor Rutigliano, Justin Meyn, and freshman Trevor Griffin held off the huge threat of the Fordham freestylers and also tied the event 8-8 to keep the Friar lead going into the diving.
Our divers were at their best against Molloy and Xavier... but needed to handle the pressure of the biggest meet of the season. And that they did... Jake finishing 2nd, and Meghan 4th minimized the point gain of Fordham Prep to only 4 points! (score 41-37... Friars)
At our coaches meeting... we had to change up the lineup. One decision we all agreed on was to let the guys who swam so well vs Chaminade step up in big spots vs Fordham. So we moved Stange back into the 100 fly along with Rutigliano and Swartwout (who came out of the 500) and giving the 100 free to Meyn, Fargo, and Griffin. The fly was 12-4 us.. the free 11-5 Fordham... with the end result giving us the extra point on our lead.
The 500 free was definitely a highlight for CJ Arena's incredible career. He not only won the event, but broke his own school record with a 4:33.82! This event became HUGE when Dylan Champagne followed with a 3rd place touchout with a State Qualifying 4:47.32, and Josh Giardinelli had another touchout to finished 5th... which yielded a 10-6 event for the Friars! (score 68-58, Friars)
We can't win 'em all... but we knew a 2-3 finish in the 200 free relay was a MUST. We can't give up this lead in one event...
Finishing 2nd... Rutigliano, Griffin, C. Stange, McCormack (1:31.78) and 3rd... Swartwout led off, then our 500 freestylers, Arena, Giardinelli, Champagne came up HUGE with a 1:33.45 and only gave back 2 points to Fordham. (score 74-66, Friars)
This was our make it or break it moment...
We knew we could outscore them in breaststroke, and we moved Tigs out of the backstroke. So we put the pressure on Fargo and Ian Fitzpatrick... and moved Conor Towers from the breast to dominate the backstroke. The move was HUGE as the three of them finished a critical 2,3,4 and outscored Fordham 9-7 heading into one of our strongest events. (score 83-73, Friars)
Fargo couldn't breathe, Ian only had energy to smile, and I gave Towers an extra hug as he scored huge for his team.
Right off the start, Chang dominated the breaststroke, but it was Burke who kept climbing into 2nd the further we got into the 100 yard race. Chris Stange was also pulling into a scoring position... and the Friars finish with a 12-4 scoring event which secures their undefeated season! (score 95-77)
The Friars always give 110% and completed their meet Win with a 2,3 finish in the 400 free relay.
Meyn, Champagne, A. Stange, and Chang took 2nd with an amazing 3:12.51! Arena, Giardinelli, McCormack, Fitzpatrick finished 3rd with a 3:24.30.
Every Friar on our roster participated in this historical meet! We had a ton of personal best times, a school record, and 12 State Qualifying times to complete our Undefeated season.
This was a different lineup for the Friars. We needed depth to accomplish this monumental feat. Our team leaders implied how important it was that every member of this team can make a difference when they step on that block or diving board... so make it count!
They couldn't have been more correct!
Let's get ready for CHAMPS!
Giardinelli, Rutigliano, Champange and Stange lead the Friars over Xavier
Every Friar on this roster is in "A" Champs!
Yes, we swam incredible vs Chaminade... but this team is now ready to finish this season swimming and diving their best!
This team is ready! Tonight the depth of this team shined as Josh Giardinelli qualified for States in the 500 free (449.10), Conor Rutigliano qualified in the 100 back, and Andrew Stange even qualified in the 50 free!
We [the coaches] were extremely pleased with some standout swims by Fitzpatrick (201.30) and Towers (202.06) in the 200 IM. Justin Meyn continues to sprint well in the 50 and 100. Stoski and Lucas both swam awesome in the 100 fly.
** Probably one of the greatest highlights of this season so far:
With the 100 breaststroke swims of Mike Mao (118.91) and Cole McNulty (119.87)... EVERY Friar on the roster has made cuts for "A" Champs this year!
Now THAT'S a VICTORY!
Most swimmers don't ever get to experience a true dual meet Team Victory. But try and test the Friars... and they will battle. Congratulations to ALL the Friars on this TEAM accomplishment!
It was a night of 15 (yes, fifteen) State Qualifying times to defeat the mighty Chaminade! They brought their best, but this team absolutely stepped up!
How about some of these highlight times:
Our medley relay, (Rutigliano, Change, Stange, Meyn) won with a 1:35.75! Are you kidding me?
BTW, Fitzpatrick, Sansiviero, Giardinelli, and Griffin went a 142.31!
Andrew Stange's 200 free... are you ready??? 1:40.55!
** Champagne went 146.44 and Swartwout 151.6!
CJ Arena and Michael Change killed it in the 200IM with a 156.03 and 156.83!
Tigs pumped his fist in the air (so did I...) with his 21.99 50 free! He was probably a meet MVP with a second touchout in the 100 free with a 51.69!
Stange blew away the 100 free with a 46.15!
CJ Arena, Champagne, and Swartwout gave the Friars one of their biggest scoring events with a 1,3,4 in the 500 free.
Fargo (53.98) and Meyn (54.57), BOTH qualified for States in the 100 back, and Ian scored 4th with a 57.02.
Michael Change tore it up with an incredible 58.59, and Burke and Chris Stange swam a 102.89 and 103.89.
They may have been exhausted... but they don't give up!
Stange, Meyn, Champagne and Chang finished the victorious evening qualifying St. Anthony's in the 400 free relay for States with a 317.35! Holy fast!
Congratulations to this entire TEAM on a well deserved WIN!
Let's Go Friars!
Friars qualify 5 State times in win over Molloy!
CJ Arena, Andrew Stange, Michael Chang, and freshman Billy Swartwout all qualify times for States!
Welcome to the State team Billy Swartwout. Billy made his first State Qualifying time as a Friar in the 500 free with a time of 4:50.14
Michael Chang qualified for States the first time swimming the 100 breast this season with a 1:00.42
Andrew Stange has been working on his fly technique perfecting his already great stroke and qualified for States with a 52.10.
The Entire Team had so much fun cheering on CJ Arena challenging him to get two State cuts in 1 event... Well CJ touched the wall with an open turn split at the 200 with a State Qualifying 1:47.27... recovered over the next 75 yards, then his teammates cheered him back on pace to finally go a 4:46.60 State qualifying 500 free! That was SO awesome!
Huge shout out to all our divers: Jake Krotz, Meghan Boyle, Kate McKevitt, and Regan Bruno who absolutely KILLED IT tonight in the diving event. The cheering (especially the "wave") was insane!
Justin Meyn had a nice 200IM win with a 200.94.
Konall Keane is fully recovered and swam a 25.34 in the 50.
Dan Cellamare's hard work is paying off with his 57.44 100 fly.
Cade C-mac McCormack won the 100 free with a impressive 51.06 and was followed with an awesome swim by JD Sterbens with his season best 54.39!
Chris Stange swam a season best 103.91 in the 100 breast.
Next: The Friars will welcome Paul VI from Fairfax, VA on Jan 9th at 5:00pm. Come cheer on this amazing team!
Andrew Stange smashes records in win over Iona Prep
Senior Andrew Stange was in perfect form as he led the Friars over Iona Prep with 3 State Qualifying Times and 2 new SCM school records!
His flight landed early in the morning, and he came straight to the meet. Excited to swim, Andrew smashed the St. Anthony's Short Course Meter 200 Free record by over 5 seconds, setting the new mark at a 1:52.63!
He then swam his second State Qualifying time in the 100 fly with a 58.63. (Andrew already holds the 100 Fly SCM record).
Finally, to top it off... Andrew led off the 400 free relay breaking the 100 free SCM record with a 52.44, and his third State Qualifying time of the meet. Until now, only Christian Yeager and Sean Cannon have swam 3 State Qualifying times in one dual meet.
Conor Rutigliano had a great swim winning the 200 IM. Justin Meyn was close to getting another State Qualifying time as he won the 100 free with a 55.97. Dan Cellamare is really swimming well early in the season with an impressive 4:33.46 and first place finish in the 400m free.
Dylan Champagne logged another win this season, only this time in the 100 back with a 105.16. Conor Towers won the 100 breaststroke two meets in a row.
And a special shout out to Konall Keane... happy you're feeling better!
Friars tear up the pool in Staten Island as Andrew Stange, CJ Arena, and Justin Meyn qualify for States
It was a little stressful having to change the meet to one day earlier... but the Friars do what they always do best, Swim Fast!
And here's a shout out to the security guard who rescued our intelligent Friars who locked themselves in the locker room! haha
Dylan Champagne is still looking impressive as he swims a 1:48 200 free, as Ian Fitzpatrick, Josh Giardinelli, and Billy Swartwout all back him up with 1:54's.
Konall Keane had an impressive win in the 50 free.
Rory Hughes and Regan Bruno continue to improve and adding depth to our diving squad. (shout out to Meghan Boyle... good luck dancing!)
Rutigliano looking strong in his 55.10 100 fly win.
** I was already celebrating at the 22.75 split... as Andrew Stange swam a very impressive State Qualifying 47.67 in the 100 free!
** The counter held steady... as CJ Arena tore up the pool at CSI and swam away with his State Qualifying 4:43.19!
** With a great push from Jordan Fargo's 55.87, Justin Meyn won the 100 backstroke with a State Qualifying 54.85!
Defeating St. Peter's top swimmer, Burke Sansiviero has an impressive win in the 100 breaststroke! (shout out to Gavin Boyd after returning from jaw surgery, great to have you back!)
Incredible job Friars!
Dylan Champagne leads the Friars over Xaverian with a record breaking, State Qualifying swim
Dylan Champagne called it.... he wanted to get the cut:
He set a new St. Anthony's Short Course Meter Record as he swims the Friars first state qualifying time of the season in the 400 free (4:14.22)!
Josh Giardinelli had an impressive win in the 200m free (2:04.86).
Conor Towers and Burke Sansiviero gave the Friars a 1-2 finish with both guys swimming a 2:25 in the 200m IM.
Michael Chang dominated the 50m free - 25.94
Jake Krotz soared into first place in the diving event, and shout out to Regan Bruno with her first official diving event!
Fitzpatrick, Stoski, and Lucas go 1-2-3 in the fly!
Freshmen Chris Stange and Trevor Griffin sprinted to a 1-2 finish in the 100m free.
Andrew Stange and CJ Arena swam a 1-2 finish in... that's right, backstroke! ha (and just off the State cut!)
Freshman Joe Welling made "A" Champs in his first ever Friars meet! (100 breast) Way to go, Joe!
New Friars shine in season Home Opener!
It was the Friars first meeting with McClancy. Highlighting a new Friar in each event, we already see the depth of the team this year. Most importantly, we [the coaches] were happy to see the sportsmanship and camaraderie shown by the reigning State Champions. We are not just champions IN the water, but out of the water, as well. Our seniors are already showing how strong their leadership is, and our new Friars are completely respectful toward them. They are completely on board with the Friars "never quit" attitude that they have shown over the past years. We don't ever slow down!
We have one exciting season ahead of us, and we are just getting started!
With this team... don't Blink! You just might miss something!
Lady Friars finish 4th at the 2016 State Championships!
What a weekend! Holy Cow… can you believe it?
You know, I’ve always heard the term… Lucky 7.
It’s been my whole life… 7 is a lucky number. Well, not this time! SEVEN undefeated straight Championship seasons has been worked for and EARNED by many swimmers who get to call themselves… the FRIARS!
2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016… ALL undefeated… ALL CHAMPIONS!
Why is this achievement so difficult?
Well, in my experience, once you approach 4 and beyond, you now have athletes who have never felt the pain of a loss. To feel what it’s like to see another team take that Championship plaque that YOU worked so hard for… and hold it over THEIR head. It’s a tough reality, but it happens. Our Lady Friars of 2006 and 2007 held off that incredible Sacred Heart team that was so dominant but just couldn’t hold off the depth of the Friars, until 2008 and 2009… we couldn’t hold them off any longer. Our 2009 team was our best team in history at the time, but still couldn’t hoist that plaque. Those two years were a driving force to get the Friars back on top.
Enter 2010. The Lady Friars were as hungry as ever, and a hungry team is tough to beat. Our dual meet was won by a mere 8 inches (remember that touch-out Coach Shannon?) and the Championship was won on how good our 4th entry swam. The Friars were back on Top!
Fast forward to 2013. I remember the morning practice when I spoke to our team… we were again at the crossroad where no swimmer on the roster felt the pain of a loss. Our seniors were going for a respectable undefeated high school career… but I also spoke to our freshmen. I let them know that their own senior year would be historic within our league. Sacred Heart had done 6 straight… We’ve even done 6… but no one had done 7!
There was a spark in their eye that morning. The goal became implanted very deep within their hearts. For them it wasn’t just a stat… they wanted it to become reality.
For the next three years thereafter, these Friars set out to outwork every team out there. This monumental feat is not going to be handed to them, or to be expected, (or to be given to them because they have the coolest colors… ok, I happen to think Black and Gold looks awesome!) but it would have to be earned. Every meet, they entered the water FIRST. Every meet no matter who we faced, was important to not only win, but to learn how we can do our very best at Champs. They will achieve this goal as a team.
Champs weekend is finally here. These ladies are confident and ready to embrace the challenge, just as they did one week earlier as they defeated Sacred Heart and finally the tough TMLA who gave them the push they needed. That team was not taken lightly and not one swim was taken for granted. Following that meet, I couldn’t contain my own excitement and looked forward to our coaches meeting to put our Champs lineup on paper.
This lineup needed multiple meetings, emails, and text messages as I was in constant contact with Coaches Liz, Scott, and Shannon. Every possible idea was discussed to the smallest detail to give this team the best possible shot at their goal. ** I thank each of them for their patience, knowledge, and passion. I couldn’t ask for a better coaching team. You ARE the BEST!
The Aquatic Center is packed. Different team colors were beginning to gather, and of course my eyes were scanning for Black and Gold. As I found each one, I would see the mix of nerves and excitement on their faces as they file into their bleacher and hang their posters. Less than one hour of warm-ups and this team is ready to GO!
What a roller coaster of events our 200 medley relay was this year! So many members of this team came together to make it successful. When our season began, the medley relay was the first State cut time achieved by the Friars. Beth Caruana, Jillian Smerechniak, Emily Bardak, and Briana Gellineau looked like a great State relay. Well, as it turned out, the medley was the only relay with a cut time as we headed into Champs. This brought about hours of strategizing, including last minute decisions.
Our Championship prelims relay consisted of Lily Lancellotti, Devin Gilio, Michelle Franco, and Sydney Bernhardt. Four swimmers who are rock solid and with outstanding technique… They were flawless!
One major decision (that you will read in detail later) was to try and take down TMLA’s awesome 200 free relay. With that, and already having the State cut, this was our Finals Medley Relay:
TMLA posted a better medley in prelims than we ever thought they’d do with a 1:52 relay… and just off the State cut. It’s only the first event… and we have a mountain of a challenge in front of us. I spoke to Beth at Champs about her relay leadership. If our other three Friars could swim with her confidence… we’re golden (and black of course… haha). Well, she sure led by example as her kick-out off the start was total perfection. Beth made a statement… Try to catch us!
She posted a phenomenal 27.01 split and off the block went Danielle Pikulik! Danielle has consistently been one of our top breaststrokers, and this was her time to shine. There was no catching Danielle as she actually out-split one of the top breaststrokers in the league right next to her by a tenth with her 31.15 swim! Holy cow! My arms are in the air already…
Michelle Franco flies off the block (pun intended). No lead will be big enough for Gabby to go against the league record holder, Sam Merino (TMLA). Michelle is pulling away…
We are screaming as our lead increases; but will it be enough?? I’m shaking Chandler Lulley’s arm as she is standing next to me (Coach Shannon’s sister) while I scream for Michelle in anticipation of what’s to come.
To complete this challenge, we needed a true anchor; a rock solid, confident anchor. We found that in Gabby Mattutat. She knew what and who she was up against, and it never shook her. Gabby was blistering down the pool… but here comes Sam Merino. That girl can tear it up! Sure, that gap was closing… but it was, A. too big, and B. you’re not catching Gabby… NOT TODAY!
They did it! That relay was SPECTACULAR!
All of our heads turn to the clock in unison. Look at that time! They are not only champions, but a State Qualifying 1:51.40! I was so thrilled, so overjoyed, and we are just getting started.
** State edit:
Our Medley Relay was seeded 28th for States. Right away, I was reminded of last years 200 free relay that was seeded 28th, and scored for us. At the conclusion of Champs, we [coaches] decided to bring all our swimmers who can contribute to the relay, Beth Caruana, Danielle Pikulik, Michelle Franco, Kiersten Clancy, and Gabby Mattutat. I’m not kidding when I say deciding these state relays was the toughest one we’ve ever made. I had a meeting with all 5 girls in Ithaca with our final decision. We needed to be top 20 to score, and we were going for it. We looked at every split time possible to get us one second faster. Our prelim relay was Beth, Danielle, Gabby, and Clancy. No joke, the pressure was ON. Again, I leaned on Beth for leadership.
I watched this relay, and I don’t think I took a breath for the entire one minute and 50 seconds… I almost couldn’t cheer. My legs were shaking so I sat on the bleacher to help me focus as I scrolled through meet mobile. 1…2….3….4…5… scroll, scroll, scroll… Please God, I know you’re a Friar fan… don’t let me go past 20.
I see “St. Anthony’s”, right there next to the number 20!
NOW I CAN CHEER! My arms fly into the air as that seems to be a normal reaction for me, and scoot to the warm-down pool. “You guys did it! 20th!” I yell as we all hug in a celebration. (it turns out there was a scoring error, and we were actually seeded 18th).
Our master plan was; if the relay didn’t make it, we were going to change it and swim Michelle. So, I once again had to explain to her that I wasn’t going to change a scoring relay. She understood with the maturity way beyond a freshman and warmed up with her team as she is supposed to and was ready to go at a moments notice if need be. She is incredible.
Our same relay looked more nervous, but definitely determined. They just wanted to move up as much as possible. So the plan was to keep it simple, just race and beat as many teams as possible. As it turned out… they beat TWO MORE and finished 16th overall in NY State! What an accomplishment. It’s one I will never forget.
All of our individual events this year were so deep, starting with the 200 free. Pleasant Palmer worked hard this year on maintaining her stroke technique in the second half of her races. That work was evident as she qualified for Finals, and swam a beautiful 2:06.91. Amanda Nasti is now no stranger to the pressure of Champs. She swam like a seasoned veteran in prelims, qualifying her for Finals, and finished 7th with her 2:04.66. Amanda Heinz is as valuable a swimmer as you can find. She can swim a multitude of events and be successful, and she’s only a sophomore. Heinz swam a super strong 2:00.42 and finished 5th overall!
Since I watched Briana Gellineau split a 54.4 in the relay carnival in September, I’ve been waiting to see her swim at Champs. Well, my waiting was over as I saw her split a 54.1 at the 100, and she never looked back. Briana dominated the 200 free as she smashed an 11 year old St. Anthony’s School Record by 2.5 seconds with a 1:52.59! Holy Fast!
** Note: All four of these Lady Friars qualified for Finals (top 8) and ALL FOUR dropped time and swam faster in finals!
Briana went on to swim the 200 free at States, and dropped even MORE time with her personal best 1:52.25 and breaking her own School Record! Her incredible swim placed her 7th overall in NY State! Congrats Briana! (yes, I’m a fan)
Emily had a huge lesson learning season. We [the coaches] couldn’t believe that she even increased her work ethic more than it already was. Swimming tired every dual meet, she learned to embrace her disappointments and learn from it. Hard work pays off. Always. Emily finally let her body rest, and she was unstoppable. She won 200 IM with her personal best 2:07.73!
** Note: again, all Four Friars were in Finals in the 200 IM!
Jillian Smerechniak swam on to finish 30th overall in NY State!
Emily qualified for Finals in the IM, and finished 9th overall in NY State! I just also need to point out for all you swimmers who work hard every day, the last for times Emily swam the 200 IM:
Champs prelims: 2:08.97
Champs finals: 2:07.73 ** best time
States prelims: 2:07.38 ** best time
States Finals: 2:07.29 ** best time.
Sacred Heart can SPRINT. The Mary Louis Academy can SPRINT. Can the Friars possibly get another event with all four in Finals?? Heck yeah, we can!
Gabby Mattutat is just so powerful. Her pull pattern is one of the best. She was incredible with her flat start 26.11! One freshman that we [coaches] enjoyed screaming for this season was Frankie Pellegrino. This girl is definitely a true Friar! What a fight she has in her. We were so impressed with her 26.37 personal best 50 free!
Kiersten Clancy is one swimmer that I really leaned on this season. I never gave her a break. I chirped in her ear all season long. Why? Because I knew she could handle it. And handle it she did! Clancy sprinted to a 26.29 personal best that placed her 5th overall and in consideration for State relays.
I remember right after Katherine Meyers prelim swim: It was a great swim, and she knew it. I could tell she was pleased and wanted to smile… but underneath that smile was a drive to do something truly great. Kat simply walked up to me, looked directly at me and stated “I’m making States”. With the look she had in her eyes, man I believed her. So the coach in me just firmly stated (to match Kat’s intensity), “Then go warm down. You have a lot of swimming ahead of you.” Katherine came back to finals ready to go. The fierce competitor in her was at level 10. Without any fear, she stepped on that block against the very best and only 24.84 seconds after she heard that “beep”, Katherine Meyers was going to States! (oh… she was smiling now!)
Heading into Champs weekend, our focus is to take each day one at a time. We swim Trials as if there is no Finals so that we make sure we put ourselves in the position to win.
Our 100 butterflyers did just that. Just as she did in the 200 IM, Kat Gamble swam into Finals and took 8th place overall to once again have all 4 Friars in the top heat. Oh… and she did that with a personal best 1:05.77! At the top of the heat, placing only behind the leagues top swimmer, Sacred Heart’s Lauryn Johnson, was 4th place Michelle Franco (1:04.00), 3rd place Gabby Mattutat (1:02.77), and our top butterflyer in 2nd place Beth Ann Caruana (58.89)! Holy cow, that event was a TON of points for the Friars!
** Shout out to Lauren Kryger who had to miss trials due to a family event at Marist college, but did make it back on Sunday to cheer for her teammates.
Beth went on to swim the 100 fly at States and dropped her time again to 58.75 finishing 22nd overall in NY State!
I am a huge fan of swimmers with beautiful technique. Sydney Bernhardt is one of them. She has put in many years of hard work perfecting her craft, and it’s paying off. Sydney tore up that pool as she won the event by just under 2 seconds with a personal best 1:01.13! What a swim!
** Note: all 4 of those swims were personal best times
I was just about to type how this next swimmer has such a bright future with the Friars. Fact is, she has a bright present with the Friars! Every time freshman Frankie Pellegrino stepped on those blocks, everyone was cheering for her like crazy! All we ever want as fans, no matter what the sport or athlete, is to witness true 100% effort. That’s the heart of being a Friar. It didn’t take long for Frankie’s heart to be all Friar with her outstanding Champs performance. Frankie won her consolation heat by two seconds with her personal best 57.80! Incredible.
Once the second half of the season kicked in, Kiersten Clancy improved every time she hit the water. The 57’s became 56’s, and she finally finished with a 56.02 that gave her an 8th place finish in Finals. Katherine Meyers was still feeling psyched after her 50 free, and I could tell she was still in a zone as she stepped behind the block. She had a personal best swim by far defeating 5 of the top sprinters in the league, and finishing 3rd with a 54.40! WOW!
Another one of the major decisions (and much credit going to Coach Scott here…) was swimming Emily Bardak in the 100 free instead of the 100 fly. She had been looking so strong, and best of all, she was excited to take on the challenge. I believe she was a little more nervous in Finals than trials, because now she was top seed. But, I also believe that the other top sprinters in the league were MORE nervous to swim against Emily. She is on fire, and we all knew it. She had been working on her start, and it was a great one this time. By the time she hit the 50, she was the dominant swimmer in the heat. Coach Liz held onto my arm for a second… I gave her a glance in between writing splits on my heat sheet, and the tears of joy were obvious, and contagious. Emily’s personal best, State Qualifying 52.32, had all of us jumping and screaming like crazy! Emily Bardak was a double winner at Champs!
I first want to point out, to score at States in the 100 free this year you had to swim a 53.3 just to get into the top 20. That’s fast!
So how about Emily Bardak getting into Finals for the second event at States (200 IM 9th), and finishing 8th in NY State with a 52.27! Emily was not only our top overall point scorer at Champs, but also at States. Congratulations!
At our coaches meeting: as the names were falling on the paper, there was the moment that Mary Tonna’s name emerged as our 4th fastest 500 swimmer. Probably due to the fact that she is so adored by all, there was excitement on our [coaches] faces. We were so happy for her to be competing at such an elite level in her senior year. When life throws you a challenge… embrace it like a Friar! Congratulations Mary on an incredible career.
With her freshman nerves a year behind her, I wasn’t the only coach pushing Amanda Nasti. We all were. And it’s because we know what a Championship competitor Nasti is! She definitely rises to the occasion. Her trials swim was phenomenal to get her into Finals, where she swam a beautiful 5:33.92 and in 7th place! As soon as the season started, I knew Brittney was training hard for her senior year. From the St. John the Baptist meet on… she really began to emerge as a top swimmer. All four of her Friar Championships were memorable swims, now topped off with her 6th place overall 5:31.32! I loved it.
For her first three years, although talented in so many events, Jillian Smerechniak had been handling our distance freestyle events like the true Friar she is. Each year, seniors graduate, and new Friars enter our family. Enter Briana Gellineau. Her raw power and distance talent allowed us to spread out Jillian’s talent… and Briana soared as well! A huge win for us Friar Fans!
For the past few years now, our league has drawn some of the top distance freestyle talent coming from many teams. In fact, this year the 500 free had the highest number of State Qualifiers than any other event with 5… and all from 5 different teams! (SHA, STA, TMLA, SFP, OLMA). That’s really cool. ** note: none of them are seniors!
You think a 500 is long and boring…? Not at our Champs! These girls put their hearts into these swims, battling for 20 laps. Brianna chased Lauryn Johnson SHA, (who smashed our league record by 3 seconds) and gave us a thrilling 2nd place overall finish with her State Qualifying, 5:05.68!
Briana went on to swim the 500 in Ithaca at States. She is so tough and it’s thrilling to see her go! You think Champs was good? How about Briana swam 3 seconds faster in Prelims with a 5:02.72. Then, in Finals… Briana swam a 5:01.29 (only .28 off the St. Anthony’s school record) and finished 11th overall in NY State! And she’s not finished… she has more incredible swims to come at States. Read on Friar Fans… read on!
Note: (This is one important reason why we try not to declare any of our swimmers in two relays during prelims. So this moment is to give a huge shout out to Kiersten Clancy, Frankie Pellegrino, Pleasant Palmer, and Gabby Mattutat. They were hand picked for their experience, control for safe starts, and speed to give the Friars an awesome seed for Finals. They were PERFECT! We were so happy that we left our options open.)
We went over all the splits, and discussed our Finals relay order. We gathered our relay swimmers to discuss our plans. They weren’t nervous. Not at all. (man… I was! Haha). They were huddled together as one, with a “Let’s do this” attitude. 4 teammates must swim as ONE. They must trust each other and swim without fear. We had our perfect 4.
Katherine Meyers, having the meet of her life, had
just qualified for States in the 50 free, so her confidence was way up.
Her 25.62 flat start
split was awesome. Our
Captain Jillian Smerechniak worked incredibly hard with the rest of her
relay on perfecting her start.
Well, it was just that… perfect.
She motored down that pool, head position dead straight.
Never yielding to a single missed stroke, Jillian split an
Our freshman, Briana Gellineau is as tough a competitor as you
can find, so it was no surprise that she too was pulling away from the
other teams. The excitement
in the Friar stands explodes!
Meghan Boyle just might have blown out her vocal cords…
Kate McKevitt and Alannah Chernik definitely did!
There it is! Not just Emily’s sick 24.00 split… but a new CHSAA record!! The Friars have done it again, winning the 200 free relay in dramatic fashion and top the record board with a 1:38.93!
As soon as this relay finished at Champs on the heels of the successful Medley Relay, Coach Scott and I smiled as we knew we were looking at possible State finals relay.
Well, turns out… we were correct.
This relay KILLED IT! They were awesome. Katherine must have done 20 practice starts, and the nerves were building a bit. Pressure was definitely ON, this was Finals. So it was time to just rely on instinct, and just race. Well, her best start was this one and she touched the wall at a 25.02. Jillian, who emerged as the vocal leader of the relay, was incredible with her 24.52 split! HUGE!
We did change the order, giving Briana as much time as she needed after her 500 free swims, and giving her a more “pressure” swim where she was thriving all weekend long. So off the block in a flash was Emily Bardak. Man… she just motored in that water with a 24.07 split! WHEW!
Briana didn’t even look tired. She’s already raced over 1500 yards! She is now swimming against the best anchors in NY State, and swam a 23.70 split giving this relay yet ANOTHER Catholic HS State record with a 1:37.76! They were not only a “finals” relay; they are the 4th fastest relay in New York State!
It’s been many years that we have been a team of super strong backstrokers. Our 50 backstroke was well represented by seniors, Sam Silva and Marist bound Devon Connolly (awesome Lacrosse player! Good Luck Dev-O), who BOTH swam best times in their final swims as Friars. (that’s the way to do it!) Celine Marino gave me a huge “high five” celebrating her teammate’s success! Freshman Skye Bates may have looked nervous, but her hard work all season long paid off as she also swam her personal best. The Friar on the very top and winning the event by 1.6 seconds was Sarah Schatz, who (ok, no surprise here…) swam her personal best!
The 100 Back was a tight event this year. (with the exception of ONE swimmer, I’ll get to her last). For example, from 6th place all the way down to 12th place, was only separated by 1 second. ONE. That’s tight. So, our Lady Friars had to battle.
** here I want to give a huge shout our to our Captain, Meghan Boyle. She would have swam this event, but had to dance. She has trained all her life in dancing, and is looking to do this in college. Best of luck always Meghan.
What I loved most about Alannah Chernik’s swim was that she was vocal about how confident she was. It was Champs, and she was ready to make an impact and score for her team. How about this, her seed time was a 1:13, but she swam a phenomenal 1:08.38! It’s simple. When it’s Champs, the Friars step up. Period. Just like Vanessa Franco also did, as she finished 10th overall with her 1:08.59. We [the coaches] were thrilled with Lily Lancellotti’s season. She had a minor setback with a sore shoulder, but recovered perfectly dropping 3 seconds and finished 3rd overall with a 1:05.31!
For four straight years, Beth Caruana has been a top backstroker to watch in the league. This year, Beth won the 100 backstroke by… ready for this? 3.6 seconds! Beth dominated with her State Qualifying 57.40!
Beth went on to swim awesome in Ithaca. I thought her turns were fantastic, and as her race went on, her turns even got faster. Her third turn was by far her best… lightning!
Beth swam even faster in prelims, with a 57.20 and qualified for finals. There she (you guessed it) swam even faster and her thrilling 57.04 gave her a 6th place overall in NY State! She is truly one exciting competitor to watch. Best of Luck swimming at Colgate Beth!!
** (just a shout-out here to Deijah Harris who really improved EVERY meet this year. Upon joining our staff this year, Coach Shannon was immediately impressed with how hard Deijah worked. She had a family conflict this year that prevented her from swimming in this event where she belonged).
Abby Federlein worked a ton on her breaststroke technique (great job here Coach Liz!) and as a result, dropped 1.6 seconds for her personal best 44.14.
Ever hear the saying “great things come in small packages”? Well, we have that with Sydney Bernhardt. I am a stroke technique fanatic, so when I see someone like Sydney swim, I am thrilled. Sydney dropped 2 seconds and her 40.98 gave her a 10th place finish. (I’m making the call now… wait till you see the awesome senior year that Sydney will have!)
We had TWO freshmen at the top of the 50 backstroke. That’s right… Gracie Edmonds and Jennifer Nagle were .01 apart in their seed time, and .38 apart in their 1-2 finish! Every time the two of them swam together this season, it was clear they are the future of the Friar breaststrokers. I can’t wait to see them next season!
When you want to win a Championship, you have to swim well at trials and get into the highest heat you can. We took that approach in the beginning of the meet, and carried it all the way to the 100 breaststroke, where all FOUR of our Lady Friars swam into finals.
Devin Gilio loves the big meets. And the more you lean on her, the better she does. I also have to say, this year more than her first three years, her freestyle was awesome and I used her a lot there. She was rock solid in relays for us all season. Now, into her specialty; breaststroke, she finished 10th overall in Finals swimming a 1:12.78.
Although Amanda Heniz can swim so many events, one of her best is the 100 breast. Coach Liz was screaming for “Heinzy” (and I love all the homeroom stories) and she had such a strong second half where she finished 4th overall with an all time personal best 1:09.46.
Danielle Pikulik had a storybook season. It was so exciting to see her GO. I know I sound redundant at this point, but Danielle works her butt off and when it comes time to perform at the big meets, she gets it done. Seeded with a 1:12, just .2 off her all time best, Danielle swam a prelim 1:10.03. Then, in finals she dropped even more to a 109.12 and finished 3rd overall in the league! Her accomplishments this season were a joy to see.
When Jillian Smerechniak had that great swim at the Sacred Heart meet and went a 1:09, I was so happy. Then, to look up at that clock in trials and see a State Qualifying 1:07.42, I think I was screaming louder than her Mom. (ok.. maybe not). But, that already was a NEW St. Anthony’s school record that was held for 9 years. Now in Finals, Jillian practically parted the seas in the Nassau Aquatic Center and swam a beautiful State Qualifying, and again new school record, 1:06.50! Jillian has certainly left her mark here at St. Anthony’s.
Jillian’s 100 breast followed the 200 free relay by only minutes. We didn’t even get a chance to celebrate her relay swim yet, as we had her go from the relay to the warm down pool and right to the block again. I can’t even tell you how impressed I was with her 1:07.23. (20th in NYS) From here, she had to go back to the warm down pool for the 400 free relay, but I’m going to save this part of her story for later… keep reading!
Take your mark…
The crowd of black and gold behind me gravitated out of the bleachers and it began getting more crowded around me. The high pitched screams of the “girls” team began to sound like I was at a nickelodeon concert; as Katherine Meyers was tearing up the pool. She hits the touch pad, and is attempting to look at the clock, and also climb out of the pool… she could have just listened to the sounds of the cheers coming from her teammates that would have told her that she indeed qualified for States with her 54.01 split! Off the block goes Emily… and the Friars are gone. The lead just continues to stretch. She topped off her incredible weekend with her 4th gold medal and a 52.57 split. Amazing. Jillian Smerechniak is at her best. I’m still smiling from her breaststroke swim, and adding to it the excitement of watching this 54.55… She… is… flying!
Our final swimmer of the entire Champs weekend, Briana Gellineau hits the water. The Friars aren’t even waiting for the finish, they are cheering already. History in the making is only about 52 seconds away (well, 52.73 for the exact split). This is not just about an undefeated season, or winning Champs. This is about doing something no other team has been able to accomplish, and Briana’s hand on the touch pad at 3:34.84 made it official! SEVEN straight undefeated Championships for the Friars! The celebrating begins, especially for our seniors who carried this goal with them for four years. I’m not going to lie as I was emotionally touched as they embraced each other because I know this is a moment that they will remember for the rest of their lives. I congratulate these seniors on their perfect 36-0 record. Well deserved.
Our Captains Jillian and Meghan accept the Championship plaque and hoist it over their heads as their teammates slip their “HIS7ORY was made” T shirts over their heads.
(** shout out to Bill Towers who got these T shirts done for me overnight!) This is a great moment. A monumental moment. And, there was about a good 10 minutes of “selfies” that followed.
This is such a magnificent moment for ALL our athletes. I gave a shout out to all our Lady Friars who were a part of the last 7 Championships, but I also hugged each of my coaches. Without them this isn’t possible. I lean on them every day and they are always there for me. Thank you so much to ALL our Friar parents. Your continued support has brought together one heck of a close Friar Family. And yes, we DO hear those cheers from across the pool!
Our 400 free relay:
What a relay! I say it every year. The girls State meet is one of the physically toughest meets there is. We are no longer a team of 40 girls who can fill in multiple spots. We are now 9 girls who are constantly racing. The pressure is tremendous, and the Friar desire to perform our best is always there. So as exhausted as our girls are… they are stepping on the block for the final race of the season; full of adrenaline and fight.
We are swimming the Granddaddy against the best of the best. The top swimmers in NY State are behind the blocks in groups of 4… adjusting goggles, shaking arms, hugging teammates to somehow combine powers, and jumping in place because none of them can contain their energy. It’s time to empty the tank. Everything you have left… it gets left in the pool.
** make sure you read these splits carefully:
We have our rock solid Emily Bardak leading us off. Her confidence at this point has never been higher. This team WILL follow her lead. She bolts off the block and I’m already hitting Coach Scott in the arm. Holy fast… she is flying. Emily throws up a 52.33 from a flat start! I’m already screaming and there are three Friars to go. Geez…
Katherine Meyers has had the Champs AND State meets of her life. She has never swam better. This final state swim will cap off a phenomenal 4 year career… and she touches the wall with a 54.53! The top teams are already separated from the pack…
And the pink CHSAA caps are with them!
Ok… so understand what had happened to Jillian Smerechniak. Remember this is a tough meet? Well, it happens that this meet was so poorly run, (mostly because the people who give out awards want to make sure it is more special for the “public school” kids. If things weren’t so darn political and just about the kids… everything would be fine) that there were delays throughout the entire meet. Until the 200 free relay – through the 400 free relay. They decided no awards, no breaks. Jillian is stepping on the block to compete in Finals for the third time in about 20 minutes. Truth: After Jillian finished her 100 breast, I was reading her body language from across the pool and saw the exhaustion. I immediately went to Kiersten Clancy and began warming her up as an alternate for the relay. Our alternates at States are so important and they are ALWAYS prepared and ready to go right until the relay goes behind the block. I finally got to speak to Jill and I asked her to do as she has done for the past 4 years. “Give this team everything you have”. As tired as she was, she smiled and gave me a nod of approval because she knows I believe in her. Coach Andrew from St. Francis Prep noticed how upset I was. How can I continue to push this girl? The human side of me; my heart was melting. The Coach in me; believes in my swimmers and I have no doubt that Jillian can handle this. I thanked Kiersten for being ready, but Jillian is good to go.
Good to go? Are you kidding? Her first three laps looked effortless, and she is motoring. Her final lap, it was obvious that her arms were getting heavy, but she wasn’t slowing down. Briana is flying off the block above her, taking on the top anchor swimmers, as Jillian touches the wall with a … ready? 53.81! Oh my gosh… what a swim!
Briana is tearing up the pool, swimming her final 100 yards of her 1,700 yards of racing (that’s not a typo, 1,700 yards at States!), and she is flying. Briana has us locked in 4th, as the 5th place team is now 2 seconds behind her…
** For quite some time now, St. Anthony’s has been an overall top 10 team at States. We’ve finished as high as 3rd (twice) and last year we had a great performance finishing 5th. We once again graduated a TON of scoring talent, and here we are moments away from another monumental performance by 9 Friars, representing 40, and being summed up in Briana Gellineau’s anchor swim. We don’t give up… ever. We are the Friars!
Briana’s final touch of the pad at 53.04 seconds gave the Lady Friars another 4th fastest relay in NY State, at 3:33.71. Once again our season best.
We are 4th overall in New York State, edging out the mighty Orchard Park by 1 point! WHAT? We placed higher than last year?! I’m in awe at how hard this team swam.
1. Pittsford 326
2. Long Beach 192
3. Pelham 190
4. St. Anthony’s 160
5. Orchard Park 159
(note: and although Newsday ranked us 3rd on Long Island, we beat #2 ranked Garden City by 50 points) just saying…
Friars 2016 State Team
Beth Caruana Katherine
|Friars elected CJ Arena & Conor Rutigliano as 2016-17 captains.|
Prelims Final Results Team Scores
Was that not one of the greatest prelim performances you've ever seen?!?!?!
That was crazy!
This team is on a mission!
** Briana Gellineau broke an 11 year old record in the 200 free (1:53.83)... then, Jillian Smerechniak broke a 10 year old record in the 100 breast (1:07.42)!
** EVERY EVENT we are seeded awesome for today.
I haven't done the math yet, but I will because there is a possibility that this team can break the all time league points record...???? we'll see...
** Parents, wear your Black and Gold, and get your camera's out for the end of this one!
We're looking to make HISTORY!!!!!
Swimmers, it is a 12:00 noon warm up and lets hope we have extra lanes like yesterday. You were incredibley cooperative during warmup.... great job again!
WE ARE ONE TEAM...
WE ARE ONE FAMILY....
WE ARE FRIARS!!!!!
LETS DO THIS TODAY!!!!!
Boys Swimming and Diving Team (2016-17)
This was an extremely talented group trying out for the Boys Varsity Swim/Diving Team. Everyone did an amazing job! I congratulate all of you on your hard work and tremendous effort.
The following have made the team for the 2016-17 season.
Please come to practice Tuesday, November 1st.
* ALL DIVERS REPORT TO PRACTICE Friday, Oct. 28th, 8 PM
|Save the date!|
The meet vs. Paul VI (Fairfax, VA.)
will be held at the HHH Natatorium on:
SUNDAY, January 8th
The St. Anthony's Father/Daughter dance is on Saturday evening, January 7th.
Meet #3 (record 3-0)
Meet #3 (record 3-0)
Abby Federlein continues to swim her best time. Gabby Matuttat is looking stronger than ever in her freestyle. To be a deep team, you must learn to swim successfully out of your comfort zone, as displayed by Hanna Skrodanes, Sarah Schatz, and Danielle Pikulik in the 100 fly. Adding to that list, is Deijah Harris who killed it in the 100 free.
In my opinion, one of the hardest State cuts to make right now is the 100 breast, and Jillian Smerechniak missed it by just one second! And of course, the meet was capped off with Beth Caruana qualifying for States in Ithaca, NY in the 100 back!
Prayers for Christina of Holy Trinity, who we hope recovers from her asthma attack and is back with her teammates as soon as possible.
Meet #2 (record 2-0)
Meet #2 (record 2-0)
Kirsten Clancy and Amanda Nasti followed that up with a 1-2 finish in the 200 free!
Amanda Heinz looked incredibly strong winning the 200 IM. Sarah Schatz and Mary Tonna had a great 1-2 finish in the 50 fly.
Emily Bardak qualified for States in the 100 fly (59.43) with Briana Gellineau right behind her. Freshman Michelle Wolf had her best swim of the season so far in the 100 free.
Freshan Frankie Pellegrino and Pleasant Palmer also turned in a 1-2 finish in the 100 free.
Winning the 500 free, was senior Brittney Kudla!
Sarah Schatz had a great swim winning the 50 back. Dropping almost 5 seconds off her best time was Deijah Harris! Amanda Heinz was just awesome winning the 100 breast.
Great job all around by the Lady Friars!
Meet #1 (record 1-0)
Meet #1 (record 1-0)
Lady Friars open their dual meet season with a victory over OLMA:
With the addition of 10 new Freshmen, the Lady Friars are looking like a deep team once again. Deijah Harris' C Medley Relay (Schatz, Edmonds, Bardak, Harris) started us off with a huge "touchout" of the OLMA B relay. The cheers and team camaraderie continued from there.
Jillian Smerechniak was a double winner (200 IM and 100 Breast). Regan Bruno and Vanessa Franco both were 50 freestyle winners. Sydney Bernhardt and Brittney Kudla BOTH had commanding wins in the 100 free. Despite losing her cap... (oh, these cap problems are stressing Coach Dan out!) Amanda Nasti won the 500 free by over 32 seconds! And our backstrokers were dominant with a 1,2,3 in the 50 (Connolly, Silva, Marino) and a huge 1,2 in the 100 by Beth Caruana and freshman Briana Gellineau.
We always have a talented group trying out for the Girls Varsity Swim Team. This year was simply outstanding talent! Everyone did an amazing job! I congratulate all of you on your hard work and tremendous effort. The following have made the team for the 2016 season. Please keep checking your email for info, and come to practice on Thursday, Sept. 8th with your completed uniform order.
Beth Ann Caruana
What do the Friars do best????
Friar Justin Meyn WON the Fire Island Ocean Swim in a time of 24:22, over 4 minutes faster than the next open water swimmer!
Congratulations Justin!GO FRIARS!
|Swim Across America|
This August I will be participating in the Swim Across America to help fight the battle against cancer. I will be doing an open water swim in the Long Island Sound. In spite of my fear of open water, I am doing this because it is for a great cause.
Together as a team we have accomplished many great things, especially this year. I am hoping to add another event to that huge list, but can't do it alone. I have created a team, The Fintastiks, and am looking for people to join me in the swim.
Swim Across America, Inc., [SAA] is dedicated to raising money and awareness for cancer research, prevention and treatment through swimming- related events. With the help of hundreds of volunteers nationwide and past and current Olympians, SAA is helping find a cure for different types of cancer through athleticism, community outreach and direct service.
They have raised over 60 million dollars so far to go towards the cure. Cancer affects millions of people every year and by participating and/or donating through Swim Across America, we can help make a difference.
I would greatly appreciate your support. I would love to swim with you and have as many Friars as possible join. Last year CJ Arena and I raised over 2,000 dollars. This year our team goal is to raise 2,500 dollars, but I would like to raise a lot more. I thank you in advance for helping me. Please follow the directions below to join the team or make a donation.
The swim is on August 6th.
Click here to visit my personal page.
If the text above does not appear as a clickable link, you can visit the web address:
Click here to view the team page for The Fintastiks
If the text above does not appear as a clickable link, you can visit the web address:
The swim is a ton of fun. If you have any questions feel free to email me.
Thank you so much.JD Sterbens
Friars continue their undefeated year at the
Maggie Fischer Memorial Cross Bay Swim!
The record-setting year was capped off at the Maggie Fischer Memorial Cross Bay Swim
with a 1-2-3 (and 32... haha) Friar finish.
After last year's perfect conditions... there was much anticipation and excitement heading into this year's 5.6 mile swim. Unfortunately, Mother Nature decided to kick up some wind and give us a real challenge this year.
But the choppy conditions didn't stop the Friars!CJ Arena was the overall winner with an astounding 1:43.37! CJ was just 20 seconds off the Cross Bay record set last year. That record previously stood for 25 years! People were just amazed at CJ's performance.
He was followed up by his State Champion teammate and Captain Noah Chernik! And, Noah lost his kayaker right at the start and still turned in one of the greatest swims in history!
Placing 3rd overall was our Friar Captain Meghan Slattery with one of the fastest female swims in history!
I was told she is only the 3rd female in history to break the 2 hour mark with her 1:56.48!
Slatts followed in Coach Liz's footsteps as she also finished 3rd overall on 8/18/2000!
Huge "Shout Out" to Conor Sullivan's Mom...Mary Sullivan
Mary has crossed the bay for her second time and finished FIRST in her age group! (You can't STOP these Friars!)
Congratulations Mary on an awesome swim!!!
Special Thank You to my Friar alum training partner Garret Golden '00 who crossed the finish with me. Not too surprised as we train and swim exactly the same. Garret is second in "all-time" crossings with 15... and this year was his life-time best time! ** Way to go buddy!
Shout out to
now a father of two Friars and consistently a top finisher in the cross
bay. ** You sign the check... you're a Friar too pal!
Thanks to anyone/all who prayed or made donations to this swim in support of any of these athletes!
Congrats to FriarAmanda Nasti who did a phenomenal open water swim in the Montauk challenge. Good Luck to Friar JD Sterbens in his upcoming Swim Across America open water swim... details of his swim to follow!
Congrats to all!
Please take a moment to really let it sink in as to how incredible these swims really are, especially that all of these accomplishments happened toone team in a single season.
St. Anthony's Friars: NEW YORK STATE CHAMPIONS (2016)