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|Congratulations to Meghan Slattery|
|St. Anthony's Class of 2016 Valedictorian|
|We are ALL so Proud of all you have accomplished!|
Swimming & Diving Championships
March 4-5, 2016
The Friars have done it! They are officially...
New York State Federation Champions!
This was a year long quest. After finishing second last year to the mighty Fordham Prep, our current seniors and juniors set a goal for this team to compete for that coveted top spot.
They never strayed off course, and made sure our incoming Friars were prepared for the tough road ahead. One practice at a time. One meet at a time. All in preparation of becoming Champions.
Nothing was easy. It was all worked for... and every accomplishment was earned by this amazing group of athletes. Our dual meet vs Fordham. 4 lead changes and tied twice. The largest lead by either team was 4 points that resulted in a mere but monumental 2 point win. A Championship meet that came down to the final relay where "safe starts" was our path to victory. And finally States, where holding on to a lead throughout 12 events seemed like a exhausting, nerve racking task that in the end was a feeling that just can't be described without experiencing it personally. I probably sound like a broken record, but I can't emphasize enough that this team came together on a path to destiny. Without our leaders; or the incoming Friars who's lives led them on this path to be a member of just these 33 Friars... none of this would be possible. We are a TEAM. We are a FAMILY. We are... the FRIARS!
Trials was a big day for us. I think we all could agree, that it was the most nervous our team was all season. We brought this on ourselves. With huge victories, comes huge pressure. And that is where the Friars thrive.
Staying focused on the team goal was emphasized as many times as possible. Not just by the coaches, the swimmers themselves were constantly pushing each other to handle the pressure. Tyler Meyers stepped up huge on Friday, and kept our feeling of success so strong. This meet was probably the "deepest" state meet that I remember, and if you weren't on your game and swimming like a superstar... you weren't going to score. One event at a time, one swim at a time... that remained our focus to pull for each Friar to swim their best. Finally, our 400 freestyle relay (Cannon, Chernik, Meyers, Stange) really got us all to walk off that pool deck after Trials with such a positive feeling after setting a new school record (the first time) with a 3:08.40. That was a momentum shift that made everyone sleep a little easier heading into Finals on Saturday.
Back to Back Champions! That's right, the 200 Medley Relay did it again!
Being the defending state champions of the event, and even changing TWO of the relay members, it was remarkable to be the top seed. THIS relay was going to set the tone for this entire day! Tyler Meyers had one of his best starts I've ever seen, and was the catalyst to spark the relay. Seeing that 24.06 on the board was so reassuring that we are here to WIN. Swimming against the best breaststrokers in the state, who were going 26 and better, we had our new freshman sensation Michael Chang going off the block with his strongest start of the season. He did exactly what we hoped, and split an incredible 26.91! (welcome to the Big Show MC!) Next was the always calm, cool, yet fierce butterflyer Andrew Stange. We knew that if he caught up the body length and a half that we were behind to at least half a body length... we had confidence in turning the relay over to our superstar anchor Sean Cannon. Well... splitting a blazing 22.86 Stange caught the leaders. At five yards out, Coach John and I already started screaming... "it's OVER!". No one was catching Sean Cannon as it almost didn't even look fair as he came off the last wall bringing it home! Cannon split... wait for it... a 20.26! Holy Fast! ALL the Friars erupted seeing the first place, ALL AMERICAN AUTOMATIC, new CHSAA NY State record: 1:34.09! Are you kidding me?!
Our 200 freestyle was another huge event for us. CJ Arena noticabley feeling much better at Finals with more energy (and his bright smile returning) swam a 1:46.21. Noah Chernik had an awesome final 50 that gave him a strong 1:44.25. And finally, in Finals, Andrew Stange overcame the endless equipment failure delays and finished a huge point scoring 6th place with a 1:42.05!
Michael Chang shook off the nerves and had a great Saturday Finals. His 200 IM dropped to a 1:57.28 landing the freshman in 18th overall. Our finalist in the IM was Tyler Meyers, already 6 swims deep into States, swam his beautiful strokes to a 1:55.26 7th place finish.
Do you enjoy pressure? Well, if you are a fan of the 50 free... you must. For me, it's the most nerve racking event, with NO room for error. Everything must go right... right down to hundredths of a second. How about competing in a Final heat that you need to go a 21.4 just to get into? How about the top THREE all UNDER 21? Pressure? Not for the Friars fastest sprinter of all time, Sean Cannon. True, every time a Friar hits the water it's exciting... but the entire Friar team moved down the entire length of the 50 meter pool to scream and cheer for 20 seconds! A phantom starter "beep" stops the hearts of all the Friar fans... but Cannon is so freakin cool standing on that block ready to go. Never losing focus, the top heat finally goes off, and Sean is shot out of a Cannon... (see what I did there?). What a start! Seeded third, Sean is flying through the water, and moves up finishing 2nd overall with a 20.92!
Conor Rutigliano continues to emerge as a superstar Friar. Being so strong in so many events, he has been a key to success all season. His first event was an awesome 52.16 butterfly that put him 23rd overall. Just give that swim a little thought, and you will get an idea of what I meant about a "deep" state meet.
I do consider myself the number one Friar fan, and boy am I a fan of Andrew Stange. You would never guess that underneath his polite demeanor, is a fierce competitor. Even after swimming events back to back early in the meet, Stange still has energy to pull of a 51.09 100 fly and finishing 8th overall in finals!
Do you ever wish you could swim a 22.09 in a 50 free? How about if that was your 50 split of a 100 free? That's exactly what we witnessed watching Sean Cannon swim a 46.44, 5th place overall 100 free!
Noah Chernik swam a fantastic 4:48.67 500 free... but stay tuned. I have much to say about his final Friar swim.
CJ Arena emerged as a fantastic leader in his own right. His positive aura, and the fact that he never holds back his feelings that he loves his team, makes this teammates around him bring up their talent level. Combine that with his amazing talent, and you have one heck of a Friar! You would never know because he never complains, but CJ came off a week of being sick before States, and he felt better as the meet went on. He fought with everything he had to score every needed point possible and moved up to 4th place overall with his 4:35.47!
If you ever hear someone say that swimming is an "individual" sport... please politely invite them to come watch the Friars swim in a meet. It's not about only swimming your "best event" (usually your favorite), but swimming what's best for the team and winning a coveted CHAMPIONSHIP. Well, with the top seeded Medley and 400 free relays; being what would be a "smaller" team, we called on guys to step out of their comfort zone and sprint. Well, that exactly what all four of our 200 freestyle relay guys needed to do. None of them would consider themselves a "50 freestyler", but they were today. Leading off with senior and true Friar, Kyle Barry swam a flat start 23.26. We followed that up with breaststroker, Joe Fouad swimming an awesome 23.01. Our distance swimmers CJ Arena and Noah Chernik anchored our relay right after swimming 500 yards with a 23.13 and 22.19 respectively! Great job by these four guys!
At this point, our lead in the meet was minimal, but we had two big events ahead of us.
Looking at our freshmen, this teams future is bright. Included in that, is freshman Justin Meyn. He had an outstanding swim and gained a ton of experience that will enhance his leadership role in years to come. Justin swam an outstanding 100 backstroke with a 54.99.
Conor Rutigliano came up huge in finals, setting himself up to score extra points in consoles swimming a 53.21 and finishing 13th in the state!
What can I say about one of our tri-captains Tyler Meyers. When it's time to come up big... he never disappoints. His strokes are so good he almost makes it look easy. But man, can he GO! With another great start, he attacked his 100 back. Being our last "finalist" in all but 2 events, Tyler swam a 51.53 6th place overall finish!
Michael Chang is so quiet. Coach Scott and I both spoke to him and he listened intently. Coach Scott looked at me as said, "this kid is a gamer. He's going to kill it." As always, Coach Scott is correct. "MC" got off the block with the "big boys" with a start that had me screaming. This was no come from behind swim. He got out in front and stayed there. Winning that heat with his 58.68 100 breast was huge as Coach John turned to me and said "that put us up 20 points heading into the relay".
20 points! A State Championship title is within reach!
So, once again I find myself having to tell four of the best competitors this team has ever had to make sure you have a "safe start". Winning a State Championship is greater than winning a relay. I didn't have to tell them anything. They knew. With pure confidence all four gave me a nod. They have been waiting a year for this moment. All four will swim as one, just as a relay should. Perfect timing off the block, and tear it up in the water! And tear it up they did!
Out in front is none other than Sean Cannon. I look at the split at the 50 and scream in poor Coach John's ear... 21.80! Ripping up the pool, Sean goes a 46.29... what a lead off!
Noah Chernik's Friar career has just been amazing to watch. From where he started as a freshman, to where he finished as a Champion, is an inspiring story for any young swimmer to learn what hard work, determination, and a whole lot of heart can do for you. Continuing to swim with confidence, Noah is right in the spot he needs to be. We [the coaches] all spoke to Noah in great length, and I'll admit... we were not shy in explaining the pressure spot he was in. We carefully looked at the other relay swimmers on the two relays seeded ahead of us, and Noah needed to drop his 48 to a 47. Noah handles the plain truth as good as any swimmer I've come across. And.. he simply gets it done. His 47.55 split kept us right in the relay!
All four of these guys are swimming on their 8th race of the meet. Watching Tyler Meyers cut that water so smooth, you would never know it. He only finished his 7th event maybe 15 minutes ago. And here he goes again. Tyler finished his amazing Friar career splitting a blistering 46.92, and we are on our way... one safe start to go!
Seeing the talent at this meet, we needed a "closer". The way Andrew Stange finishes his races, he will be just that for the Friars today. His start is PERFECT... so I already throw my arms in the air, because there is no way any relay seeded past third is catching Stange, and that equals... Championship!
Andrew Stange splits an awesome 46.44... but it's the actual placing of his hand on that touch pad that makes it official:
THE FRIARS ARE NEW YORK STATE CHAMPIONS!
Our 400 free relay swam an ALL AMERICAN CONSIDERATION, New School Record; 3:07.20!
I immediately hug Coach John not even giving him a chance to write down the final splits. Emotions that can make a grown man cry tears of joy. There are so many people in the way on the pool deck, I can't get to my guys fast enough. Just a mere 12 points over Fordham Prep.... and the Friars have done it! I'm congratulating these guys at a moment that I know they will never forget. I give an emphatic point up to all the proud Friar parents in the stands who share my same emotions as the cameras and iPhone's are snapping pictures of the Champions. I looked for Ed Cannon, who sat in just about every seat in the ECCC natatorium over the course of the two day meet. I know it was such a special moment for him and his wife Patti, who spent the past 8 years cheering on the Friars. I thank all the parents for all the endless support they've given this team. To all our coaches... you are by far THE BEST there is!
And finally, to all our 33 Champions:
Remember all the 5am alarms and the 6am leaps into the cold water. Bus rides, songs, and cheers... BONSAI! They are the biggest part of what brought this success. Without each other... you wouldn't have achieved those "wins". Because you are a TEAM... because you are a Family... because you are the Friars... you now forever get to call yourselves....
NEW YORK STATE FEDERATION CHAMPIONS!!!
Friar Gang or Die!
It's become a long time Friar tradition that when our State meet is held in Buffalo we [the Friars State Team] head to the Anchor Bar for a little post meet dinner. The Anchor Bar is the home if the original Buffalo Wings.
So, having a team full of the greatest competitors on the planet... what do you think happens when their coach drops 270 wings in front of them?
What comes next, has become known as.... Event 13!
The "friendly" team trash taking actually began during breakfast on Saturday morning. Yes, you are thinking correctly; that's the morning of States Finals and our guys still have a State title to win. That being said... the Friars competitive juices are already flowing. Listening to the guys "chat" about who's going to put down the most wings, I throw out my own prediction of stating "I think it's going to come down to Kyle and Tigs". Immediately I get glances looking up at me from the table. Cannon and CJ let it be known... "you're under estimating me Coach". Enjoying the light moment before the most stressful day ahead.... I laugh and encourage more guys to puff their chests up and brag about their appetites.
States concluded with the Friars celebrating their first Federation Championship. Coach Scott and Coach John pick up the team van while Newsday chats with our State Champs. They are all excited, snapping team pictures, and hugging their teammates in celebration. But... this competition if far from over!
50 Mild, 50 Medium, and 50 BBQ.
That's the first order to get them started. For a moment, the chatter has turned silent as the Friars begin enjoying their team meal. Everyone is smiling, and as the wings are so delicious at this point, the giant trays begin to empty.
Andrew Stange is in my league. We both bow out at 9 feeling comfortable after enjoying our meal. (** my fault on the order. Stange doesn't do "spicy" and I didn't order him enough mild wings).
The guys are beginning to feel a little full, but the laughter from the far side of the table is beginning to rise. I look at Justin Meyn and crack up myself as he looks like the Joker in a Batman movie with BBQ sauce all across his face. I didn't think there was that much BBQ on 12 wings. Joey falls a little behind early due to the fact that he became the event photographer and couldn't keep up the pace. Joey hits 16 and continues snapping pictures.
Another 100 Medium wings hit the table...
Basically Tyler ate 18 wings because he was starving after swimming. I think no matter what event was going on he was putting down that many wings! haha
My pick for a finalist, Kyle Barry lost time "distributing" wings... and as he saw he couldn't keep the pace to win, decided to have a comfortable plane ride home and tapped out at about 20. ** A few guys called out Kyle as they picked up on his strategy of handing out the biggest wings. Tricky... but smart!
We're getting late into the event, and the guys with full stomachs are encouraging the guys who are left to keep eating.
I glance at the far side of the table... and to my surprise, Michael Chang is still eating! How can the lightest guy out eat the big guys?
The wings are no longer "delicious". They are merely a mountain to climb.
Stange had become the official "counter" as guys don't want to stop chewing to count "bones".
I was looking to see if Sean Cannon was going to make a "late run" as his older brother Chris did about 6 years earlier... but as he rounded out at 26, he sat back to watch the leaders battle.
The leaders are well into the 30's. The trash talking begins again, only not as friendly as at breakfast. Fingers are being pointed at bones that have meat on them...
Stange gets help from Joey and Cannon on keeping count.
I look down again at MC... still eating?!? "Hey MC", I yell... "how many is that for you?"
At first he just stares into space as if he is in a food coma... Coach Scott, Kyle and I just start cracking up. Our outburst snaps MC out of it, and he puts on a huge smile...
"I'm at 20" he says.
I can't stop laughing. He probably weighs under 100 pounds, and it took him so long to eat 20 wings. I applaud his effort, and MC taps out.
Back to the serious side, and the competition is intense. CJ is approaching it just like a distance swim.
We are approaching 40. The "Bone tracking" is being held accurate by all who are full.
Noah is putting up a valiant effort. He might have gone out a bit too fast in the beginning, as the late pace is being tough to hold. He glances right to look at CJ. Glances left to look at Tigs. Both guys covered in wing sauce; across the face and their hands are looking like they are wearing red gloves.
Noah nods his head in approval to his teammates, and taps out at 35.
CJ and Tigs hit 40.
Tigs appears to be having a little trouble swallowing and looks like a chipmunk preparing for the snow that has begun out the Anchor Bar window. CJ sits up thinking he might have a shot at this. Tigs resorts to an "anything to win" attitude, and picks up a full pitcher of coke and chugs it!
"I hate soda" he barks as he grabs a handful of wings.
CJ probably doesn't even have room to fit a drink!
They both appear to have put down the last wings that they can fit. The guys are shouting the numbers...
CJ at 41... and Tigs at 44!
It official, Event 13 has concluded and the State Champs crown Conor Rutigliano the 2016 State Wing Eating Champion!
OK Champs.... we have a plane to catch!!!
Let's bring the NYS Federation Champions HOME!!!!!
Friars are Champions!
Final Results MSG Varsity Article: 2016 Champs
Friar swimmers started off the Championship meet with a decisive win in the 200 Medley Relay.
Sean Cannon led all Friar Swimmers & Divers as they captured the 2015-16 NYCHSAA Swimming & Diving Championships.
Sean won both the 50 & 100 Freestyle events and was the recipient of the "Tom Morris Award for Meet MVP."
He was also awarded the Jack Kennedy Award for Career Achievement and the Vin Harkins Memorial Dual-Meet MVP. Sean broke team records in both sprint events, going 20.77 & 46.00 respectively.
Teammate Andrew Stange took gold in the 100 butterfly.
Coach Dan McBride was named Coach of the Year.
Photo: Kieran Fitzpatrick
Results: Preliminaries Psych Sheets
Led by Junior Andrew Stange, who is the top seed going into the finals of the 200 freestyle & 100 butterfly, Friar Swimmers are well-positioned for today's finals of the NYCHSAA Championships.
Senior Sean Cannon tore up the pool in the sprint freestyle events, logging in the top qualifying time in the 100 free and just a mere 0.12 seconds behind the leader in the 50 free.
Senior Tyler Meyers is the 2nd seed going into the finals of both the 200 IM and the 100 backstroke.
Junior Chris Arena is the 2nd seed in the 500 free and 3rd in the 200 free.
Friar Men remain UNBEATEN, edging 5-time State Champion Fordham Prep. 94-92, enroute to the 2015-16 NYCHSAA Dual-Meet Title.
The meet came down to the final race of the evening as the Friars took 1st and 3rd in the 400-yard freestyle relay.
24 State qualifying times were achieved between both teams combined. This was a VERY fast meet.
UNDEFEATED Dual Meet Champions!
Anchoring the 400 free “B” relay, Michael Chang put his hand on the wall in lane 3 at 6:50 PM to make it official…
The Friars have defeated the 5-time Federation State Champs… Fordham Prep!
The Score changed hands 4 times, and was tied twice in the 12 events. It was the most evenly matched dual meet I’ve ever seen including 24 total State Cut times swam by both these incredible teams. The one factor… in the end, the Friars finished two points higher in the 94-92 victory.
Fordham has not lost a meet since 2010, and that was to… the Friars! It’s been 5 long years, but the Friars have been improving every year since. This is due to the continuing leadership that this team propagates each year. Our Juniors, Seniors, and Captains had this entire team focused on the fact that we can compete with the top in the state. I like to emphasize this point, as we had many swimmers competing that have never been in a pressure dual meet like this. But listening to our leaders; what to expect, how to approach the meet, and staying focused on swimming no matter the score, was a necessary preparation to achieve victory.
There were so many important moments throughout the meet. Our Medley Relays going 2-3 keeping us within 2. (FP 8, STA 6)
Andrew Stange set a New St. Anthony’s school record in the 200 free with a 141.65. He, combined with CJ Arena and Noah Chernik, brought us back to “tie”. (shout out to Cellamare with a personal best 154.35) (FP 15, STA 15)
Tyler Meyers and Michael Change both made States in the 200 IM. Kyle Barry’s 5th place “touch out” alone is a 2 point swing in the meet. Friars are down by 2. (FP 24, STA 22)
No one in the league can touch Sean Cannon. It almost looked unfair as he won by over a second with a State qualifying 21.38. Combined with Conor Rutigliano’s 3rd place finish, the Friars tied it up. (FP 31, STA 31)
Our Divers were simply awesome. Jake Krotz, Meghan Boyle, and Kate McKevitt had their best performance of the season to keep the Friars within 2! (FP 40, STA 38)
The 100 fly was a huge turning point in the meet. The momentum swung in our favor as Andrew Stange (SQ 51.35), Conor Rutiglino (53.79), and Kyle Barry (55.58) put us UP by 2 points and giving the Friars their first lead of the meet! (FP 46, STA 48) *** yeah… I’m pretty much losing it at this point!
Sean Cannon lead the way in the 100 free with a State Qualifying 47.19, combined with the awesome personal best swims (great second halves and finishes) from both Justin Meyn 49.72 and Jordan Fargo 50.74, who put us UP by 4! (FP 53, STA 57)
One of the greatest 500 freestyle battles you would ever see in a dual meet was between the Friars CJ Arena and the Rams Spencer Lafata. These two were side by side for the entire 500 yards… the last 100 of it the Fordham University Natatorium was filled with screams and cheers! CJ smashes his own personal best, St. Anthony’s current school record… with a jaw dropping 4:37.94! Dylan Champagne (4:55) and Noah Chernik (4:57) go 2-3-5, tied FP with 8 points a piece and holding onto our 4 point lead. (FP 61, STA 65)
Fordham loaded up their 200 free relays with every freestyler they had, going 1-3 and swinging the lead back to the Rams. (FP 71, STA 69)
Senior Tyler Meyers had a awesome 100 back with a State Qualifying 53.01, and Meyn and Fargo again proved to be a valuable duo as Meyn just missed States with a personal best 54.91 and Fargo’s best 57.22. The two mighty teams tie the event. (FP 79. STA 77)
Historically, Fordham always has great breaststrokers. (Their coach was an awesome one in his day). We need the most out of ours. Michael Chang has an amazing second half, once again breaking a minute with a State Qualifying 59.83, followed by Joe Fouad (102.24) and Burke Sansiviero (105.71) who hold their own, and keep the Friars within striking distance! (FP 88, STA 84).
We are down to the 400 Free Relay.
The Friars need first and third to win. The Rams decide to “split” their relays to go for a 2-3 finish that would guarantee them a tie.
We [the coaches] decide to keep our relays as is… as without a guaranteed first, the win is out of reach. Knowing our A relay will be unmatched… All prayers from both the Friars sideline and the stands above go to the lane 3 relay. Swimmer after swimmer explodes off the block… Dylan Champagne with a great leadoff, Justin Meyn pulling away, CJ Arena looking like a true sprinter pulling away… and Michael Chang is the anchor. Swimming Back-to-back, just finishing the 100 breast one event earlier… the Fordham Prep top sprinters are closing in. The screams from both teams increases with every stroke these guys take. Tyler Meyers closes the A relay and puts his hand on the wall… a 3:13.77… and we have our “First”! The second piece of the puzzle is Chang coming down the pool with Rams on either side of him. It goes… touch, touch, touch… on the wall… only a second between the three relays, but Changs hand is the middle one! It’s a :49 split and third place finish!!!
THEY’VE DONE IT!
The Friars turn to jubilation, cheers, hugs, caps and goggles in the air…
They are simply going crazy… because Fordham Prep is that tough to defeat.
Mr. Paul McClintock gives the Final announcement of the evening:
Fordham Prep 92…. St. Anthony’s 94!
It’s rare I’m ever at a loss for words, but I’m just in awe of this team. We gather together to cheer, and all I could ask of my team was to look around. Take a mental picture. The pool… the colors… the smell. Look around at the faces of your teammates. Their memory will be carried with you for the rest of your life as you will never forget the day you and your team defeated the Best. Yes, it was a team effort as every Friar on the roster COMPETED in this Win! (With the exception of C-Mac who when home sick, We missed you pal!)
This write up would not be complete without acknowledging the Sportsmanship and Character of the Fordham Prep Team. They follow in the footsteps of their Coach, Dom Galimi, who is a true Class Act. This meet was dedicated to the Fordham Prep classmate who passed only one week earlier.
CONGRATULATIONS to ALL the Friars on your monumental victory!
We are long from finished this season….
Friars defeat Chaminade posting 14 total State Qualifying Times!
Can you believe THAT performance?!!
I heard a lot of Cheers from the stands during the Medley Relay. Still some at the start of the 200 free...
But at the flip turns at the 100 mark... the pool area of Chaminade HS went silent. The 1,2,3 finish of Stange (142.47), Arena (145.81), and Chernik (147.22) set the tone that is was clearly the Friars night!
Our three Medley Relays went 1:36, 1:41, (almost states), and 148. What a start!
The 136.92 was an even faster State Time for Meyers, Chang, Cannon, and Rutigliano.
Junior Andrew Stange sets another school record with his 142.47 in the 200 free!
The Friars had a 1-2 finish from Tyler Meyers (158.92) and Michael Chang (159.37), both posting State Times! Kyle Barry was right behind them touching the wall in 4th!
The 50 Free never disappoints when Cannon steps on the block. It was said best by Coach Scott: "Geez, if they wanted to beat Sean they would have had to set their own school record!" That's right, Cannon went a blistering 21.17 at a dual meet (currently seeded #1 in NYS). Tigs was right behind him in 3rd with a 22.47.
Our divers are peaking that the right time as Krotz and Boyle finish a strong 3-4. Probably one of my favorite moments was when Kate McKevitt did an inward somersault for the first time... and scored! It was a highly celebrated... enthusiastic 3 1/2!
Heading into the 100 fly, the score was already 57-21 in favor of the Friars.
More State times... that's right. Andrew Stange (50.97) & Conor Rutigliano (52.39) both went State Times, and Kyle Barry (54.79) tied for 3rd!
The 100 free yielded the third 1-2-3 event of the night with Cannon 1st (46.78 SQT) freshman Justin Meyn 2nd (49.83), and the "touch-out" of the meet goes to Jordan Fargo, who touched out TWO guys by .03 and .07! It was the best finish of his season so far.
The 1-2-3 finishes continued with a personal best by freshman Dylan Champagne 2nd (455.88) and Noah Chernik in 3rd (457.81). But on the sidelines, his teammates were erupting as the watched CJ Arena over in lane 1, tear up the pool with a personal best, State qualifying, new St. Anthony's team record 439.59! Holy Fast!
Our 200 free relay (Rutigliano, Stange, Barry, Chernik) is the best we've had in years, as the win with a commanding 129.64.
Tyler Meyers won the 100 backstroke with a 53.13, and right behind him in 2nd place was Justin Meyn with a personal best 55.39!
Freshman Michael Chang battled Chaminade's senior, Tim Valentine, who was their only win of the meet. Chang posted his own sub minute time (59.29) and qualified for States. Joe Fouad had his best of the season as he dropped to a 1:02.
Time to cap the evening off, with a 3:18 400 free relay swam by Cannon, Stange, Chernik, and Meyers.
This was a FULL ON TEAM EFFORT! These guy wanted to make a statement, and showed up to swim. They are confident and fearless. Don't miss a single moment of the rest of this season Friar Fans... it's going to be a WILD RIDE!
Let's GO FRIARS!
Cannon and Chernik lead the Friars over Molloy with State Qualifying swims.
As we are getting closer to preparing for the tough half of the season, the Friars are already getting up to speed.
Noah Chernik swam into States with his 147.16 200 free.
and Dan Cellamare swam a personal best 155.79.
Arena, Meyers, and Meyn swim a 1-2-3 in the 200 IM and the Friars already have a commanding lead: 38-8.
Stange had an awesome 50 free with a 22.72 flat start.
Sean Cannon swam his best 100 fly of the season so far with a State Qualifying 51.51!
Konall Keane swam a personal best 57.47 100 free!
Dylan Champagne posted a personal best in the 500 with a 5:00.53.
A HUGE State Qualiying swim in the 200 free relay by Cannon (21.96) Stange (22.24) Meyers (22.43) and Chernik (22.00). Those guys tore it up!
Kyle Barry won the 100 back with a great 58.00 swim.
Great swims were turned in the 100 breast by Boyd (110.79) and Austin qualified for "A" Champs with his personal best 117.88. Awesome job.
And finally, to top off another awesome Friar performance, the Friars 400 free relay (Cannon, Stange, Meyers, Chernik) posted a 3:17.88, which is currently the #1 relay in NYS!
Andrew Stange leads the Friars over Xavier with a new school record!
CJ, Fargo and Meyn got the Friars started with a 1-2-3 finish in the 200 free.
Noah Chernik won the 200 IM in his first time swimming it this season.
Conor Rutigliano had a huge win in the 50 free touching out Xavier's top swimmer Conor Mullin by .03
Mullin was neutralized again in the 100 fly as he was touched out by Andrew Stange, who in the process set a new Short Course Meter, St. Anthony's Team Record with a 57.59! Holy Fast!
Sean Cannon hasn't
yet swam the 400 free... so, it was time. Challenged by his
teammates to make a State Cut, the sprinting phenom almost pulled it off
going a 421.79!
Friars Underclassmen shine in Win over Xaverian
The Friars Medley Relays race each other, and as a result, they go 1-2-4 to open the meet at our own Half Hollow Hills home pool.
CJ Arena, Rutigliano, and Fitzpatrick race each other and go 1-2-3 in the 200 free.
The trend has been set, and the Friars are off to a great start. That brings freshman Dylan Champange a win the first time he swims the 200 IM, followed by Barry and Sansiviero and the Friars again go 1-2-3!
Freshman Michael Chang wins the 50 free the first time he swims the event this season.
Hard work pays off, as Kyle Barry is working to perfect his butterfly, and comes up with a Win in the 100 fly.
Sophomore, Jordan Fargo, along with freshmen Conor Towers and Michael Stoski go 1-2-3 in the 400 free distance event.
Freshman Justin Meyn is coming on strong winning the 100 back, and freshman Michael Chang Wins the 100 Breast.
Our young swimmers are showing they will be a perfect fit with our experienced veteran Friars. The team camaraderie is reaching new heights already.
CJ Arena and Andrew Stange qualify for States and lead the Friars to their third win of the season!
Jake Krotz had his best diving performance of the season so far.
Kyle Barry and Conor Rutigliano raced to a 1-2 finish and both going a 55 in the 100 fly.
Connor Towers celebrated his birthday backing up his captain Tyler Meyers in the 100 free with an awesome 54.37
CJ Arena held perfect :29 splits and qualified for States with a 4:49.84 in the 500 Free!
Sean Cannon and freshman Justin Meyn raced a great 1-2 in the 100 back and Burke Sansiviero, Arya Mahabadi, and Gavin Boyd swam a 1-2-3 finish in the 100 breast.
Each swimmer had one individual event... and one relay event. Although our swimming performance was fantastic, it was great to see the team camaraderie starting to shine.
Come see the Friars take on Kellenberg on Dec 1st at 6:00 at Chaminade.
|Girls' State Championships (2015)|
|Meet Information||Results (prelims)||Results (finals)|
Meghan Slattery is awarded the NY State Scholar-Athlete Award at States in Ithaca. Meghan is the first Catholic HS recipient of this prestigious award!
Of the over 480 participants in the meet, there were 45 nominees for top award given by the Federation at States. In the words of the officials, Meghan was the clear standout for this years award. She was so well deserving of the standing ovation!
** Also, Meghan Slattery received the "Good Sport" award to represent the CHSAA. She was voted unanimously by all the coaches of the CHSAA.
And YES, even faster at State Finals! They improved every time they hit the water. They even had ME at a loss for words... and cheering for this team is EXHAUSTING! They keep my adrenaline going ALL DAY!
Our 200 Medley Relay, Beth Caruana, Katherine Meyers, Emily Bardak, and Meghan Slattery finished the season with our best time of 1:48.58 (only .32 off the record) and THIRD overall in NY State!
Do you think consistency is key? If so, Meghan Slattery proved you correct swimming her last four 50 freestyles with the following times: 24.20 (NEW School Record!) , 24.21, 24.22, and again, 24.22! That is Amazing! Slatts finished 13th overall at States in the 50.
Emily Bardak broke 57. TWICE in the 100 fly... a 56.81 and a 56.57 which yielded an 8th place finish overall in Finals and a New School Record!
Meghan Slattery was super strong in the second half of her 100 free every time she swam! With a 51.71 New School Record... she finished 6th overall in Finals!
On to Finals...
In their outside lane... the four ladies just tore up that Ithaca pool with four best times (again) and a NEW SCHOOL RECORD of 1:40.01 and placed 13th! That's right... from 28th to 13th!! Holy smokes!
Beth's 57.10 gave her a 9th place overall finish in NYS!
We [the Friars] have already had a thrilling weekend, and our relay girls are more focused than ever. Meghan Slattery remains our lead off swimmer with an amazing 51.85! Emily Bardak had the weekend of her lifetime and capped it off with a 52.54! Jillian Smerechniak was smiling all weekend and SO READY for her 54.59 swim! The Friars send off our anchor, Erin Boyle and she swims right there with the best sprinters in NYS, and splits a 54.14 that places the Friars 6th in the State and a NEW SCHOOL RECORD of 3:33.12!
What a celebration! All 7 Lady Friars made it back to Finals... and all 7 scored points. Once again, as they always do, a full TEAM effort! The end result...
A 5th place overall finish and number ONE catholic school in New York State!
The Lady Friars tear up the pool at States in Ithaca!
We have SEVEN Friars representing us at States. And after the completion of Trials... ALL SEVEN will be swimming in Finals for points tomorrow!
Our 200 Medley Relay (Beth Caruana, Kat Meyers, Emily Bardak, Meghan Slattery) dropped another half a second and is seeded 6th in the top Finals heat.
Top CHSAA 50 freestyler, Meghan Slattery, is seeded 11th in finals tomorrow.
Sophomre Emily Bardak is now at the top of the St. Anthony's record board with her amazing 56.57 in the 100 fly which has her seeded 5th in Finals.
The 200 free relay (Kat Meyers, Jillian Smerechniak, Jackie Zahn, Erin Boyle) swam their best of the season and moved up to 20th for Finals tomorrow! This gives us THREE scoring relays at States! ** huge! **
And it's not over there...
Free Relay (Meghan Slattery, Emily Bardak, Jillian Smerechniak,
Erin Boyle) swim a 3:36 to land them 8th for Finals in the
Granddaddy of all relays tomorrow!
What a great first day... get plenty of sleep Friar Fans... for tomorrow we have Finals!!
Stay tuned to Meet Mobile and twitter... the Friars are ready to rock!
Due to Meghan "Slatts" being a senior... her "inch worm" animal is now Retired! It seemed the faster the game pace went... the faster that "inch worm" would go!
1. One 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of copy paper
2. One standard paperclip allowed for weight (optional)
3. 3 inches max of scotch tape.
** Top 5 go to the semi-finals, Top 3 to the finals
Congratulations to ALL the participants as this was the best competition yet!
|Lady Friars: The Streak Continues!|
Not one, not two, not three, not four, not five…
But SIX Straight Undefeated Championships! I hope you took the time to really read that out… because you need a good minute to stop and think about the feat that this team has accomplished. Our seniors are graduating a perfect 36-0! A record well deserving of the dedication and passion that they have given this team. Their supporting cast of juniors, sophomores, and freshmen followed their lead and gave their all to achieve the team goal of again being Champions!
It was in mid August that I sat with the seniors and discussed our season and our team expectations. It was a big reality check when we looked at our 170 point 2014 Championship victory margin… and that we had just graduated 8 scoring seniors where just 5 of them scored over 230 points alone. For the first time in their tenure, we were starting with a point deficit. The Mary Louis Academy and St. Francis Prep both improved over the past three years, and the mighty Sacred Heart got an extremely talented freshman class this year.
Bottom Line… we are WORKING for this one!
It was a common theme all season. You don’t get handed a Championship because you are cute and look the best in your Black and Gold…
You have to EARN every bit of it!
And EARN IT these Lady Friars did!
I often say that I believe that God is a Friar Fan… and waking up and seeing the sun shine bright in the sky on Championship weekend once again put a smile on my face. I start my car ride to the Nassau Aquatic Center with my fresh cup of coffee in hand, and thoughts of prayer for what my team is about to go through. They will give me their best… and I want them to be so successful that I will push them for even more because I believe in them that much. Then, I turn on the radio. Some crazy song called “Sandstorm” came on. I never heard it before, but it got my adrenaline pumping… so I let it play out. I eventually reach Eisenhower, and I’m more than psyched to cheer on my favorite team of all time… The Friars.
Our warm-up lane is packed as usual. The girls are doing their best to make it work. I glance at Coaches Liz, Scott and Annie. They are focused on getting the team prepared. I’m so proud even before the first race starts that I tell the three of them, “if I was on the outside looking in, or even up in the stands, and seeing how this team [the Friars] is preparing… this is the team I want to be on.” I couldn’t help to stand up a little taller and put a smile of pride on my face. I love this team.
Yes, we are a big team; 42 girls in total. But most important, we are a DEEP team. This enables us to use more swimmers keeping the entire team ‘fresh’ to swim their absolute best every time they step on a starting block. This was the case right off the bat with our 200 medley relay. In trials, we swam Vanessa Franco, Devin Gilio, Brittney Kudla, and Karen Ip. They executed a perfect relay with a time of 2:00.92 and giving us a 4th place seed for Finals. Exactly where we wanted to be.
In Finals, Beth Caruana awaits the officials command to enter the water. She appears so calm… but the look on her face is so extremely focused! “Take your mark…” and she pulls herself up to the block, head tilted slightly back,
And Champs 2015 is underway!
It’s finals, and if you look at Beth Caruana motoring up the pool in lane 7… you already know the Friars mean business and are going for that 6th Championship! Off the block, Katherine Meyers gives another outstanding 50 breast and keeps the Friars out in front. Sacred Hearts Lauryn Johnson may be an amazing butterflyer… but our own Emily Bardak holds her off (they both split 25’s) and retains our full one second lead! Our anchor is the one and only, Friars top sprinter of all time… Meghan Slattery. A perfect relay start shoots her off the block, and it was clear to everyone at the Nassau Aquatic Center, including all the people wearing Black and Gold in the stands who are applauding with 40 yards still left to go in the event, that no one is catching Slatts. Her hand touches the wall and as her body takes on oxygen, she smiles up at her relay teammates celebrating their 1:49.91 victory. And the Friars are just getting started!
** Our Medley Relay was just AMAZING! This relay (Caruana, Meyers, Bardak, Slattery) swam even faster in State trials with a 1:49.45 which seeded them 6th in the State! But… with ALL FOUR girls going even faster in Finals, they became the Third overall fastest relay in NY State with a 1:48.58! That’s right… THIRD!
Our 200 freestyle got started with Pleasant Palmer, who only days earlier was so sick that she didn’t even think she would swim at Champs. Well, praying for a Friar miracle, as I so often do… I finally received the email on Friday night that Pleasant wants to give it a go! Emptying the tank on whatever energy she had left, Pleasant scored points as she finished tied for 15th! Amanda Nasti was seeded 12th after Trials and put herself in a great position in a consolation heat. Ripping up the pool with her personal best 2:02.83 she WON the heat and scored points in 9th place!
In Finals, we have our two veterans who continue to be in the top of the league in this event. With this years competition being so high, Jillian Smerechniak and Erin Boyle both swim 1:58.8’s and finish 3,4 and score HUGE points for the Friars!
The 200IM featured 4 talented Friars who are so proficient in all 4 strokes. The first was senior Nicole Pikulik, who BY FAR had her best season as a Friar. Not that she was never focused before, but there was something in the way she carried herself this year that we [the coaches] knew we were going to see something special out of her this November weekend. She swam her beautiful stoke technique to a 10th place finish! That put our three remaining Friars ALL in Finals! Freshmen Kiersten Clancy and Amanda Heinz battled each other (always fine with me to push each other!!!) and finished an awesome 7th and 8th respectively.
That left none other than the top seed Emily Bardak. I believe that the big element that she added this year to her already talented swimming arsenal was confidence. She stepped on the block believing in herself. Combine that with the hard work Emily puts into her daily workouts; and that’s one tough swimmer to beat! And in this event… no one could! She led right from the butterfly, and consistently built her lead till she exploded in the freestyle. Hard work pays off… and she swam herself to a State Qualifying time of 2:09.64!
Emily went on to swim faster in State trials with a 2:09.20 seeding her 16th, and then AGAIN faster in Finals finishing 14th overall with a 2:09.07! What a swim!
Swimming the 50 freestyle takes nerves of steel. It’s such a fast event with NO room for error! Perfect examples of that were shown by Friars Sam Silva, Regan Bruno, Celine Marino, and Kate McKevitt, whose personal best 28.97 would have even been fast enough to be scoring points in the Trial/Final event!
Gabby Mattutat improved all season long, and continues to show her amazing strength every time she hits the water. Her strong finishes are a constant reminder as to why I’m such a fan. She finished 11th overall in the 50. Then… we had the next THREE in Finals! Jackie Zahn had one incredible season and peaked just at the right time. Her best 50 (25.97) in two years gave her an overall 7th place finish, and also a solid spot on the 200 freestyle relay! (Stay tuned… you’re gonna hear about THAT!)
Katherine Meyers is so freakin quick off that block and her consistently strong 50 landed her a 4th place finish with a time of 25.15.
Standing tall on the block in the middle of the pool is the much recognized Friar, Meghan Slattery. She is already our top sprinter of all time… and yes, the anticipation of this race has captured everybody. I even glanced to my right and smiled at Deijah and said… “you ready”? And she just gave me back that awesome smile of hers with a small nod as we both know we’re going to witness a great swim.
The Finals heat with three ‘Friars’ caps takes off the block. Slatts has worked so hard on her start, but it’s the intensity of her streamline that helps her. Heading into the wall, she is surrounded by Sam Merino (TMLA) and Olivia Santos (SFP), two of the best sprinters you will find anywhere. Slatts hits her turn, and emerges the strongest of the three… she is back taking command of this race. It’s a sprint to the finish (pun intended) as ALL THREE girls go 24 (holy cow!) but it’s Meghan Slattery winning by a mere .01 and going 24.20; a NEW Catholic High School State Record, breaking her previous record set one year earlier. I throw my hands up in celebration along with Margie Nelan who is cheering right along side me. I yell the times of the heat to Grace Samson who is helping us coaches write ‘em down. She looks up at me in amazement and says “WOW… that’s fast”.
Meghan Slattery is the most consistent 50 freestyler I ever remember. She swam a 24.20 at Champs, TWICE… And, a 24.22 at States… TWICE!
Are you kidding? That’s amazing. Slatts finished in 13th overall at States in the 50.
We were loaded with talented butterflyers this year. In the 50, we had senior Mary Bermudez (who swam so many different events over her tenure) and Danielle McCabe who finished close behind freshman Hanna Skrodanes and sophomore Sydney Bernhardt who gave us a 1-2 finish!
In the 100 fly, Lauren Kryger was out like a rocket in the first 50 of her swim and finished 15th. Gabby Mattutat had another awesome swim as her 1:06 placed her 11th overall. Our top two flyers in Finals are two of the top in the whole league. Emily Bardak (57.55) and Beth Caruana (58.71) were simply amazing to watch as they went a 2-3 finish and BOTH qualified for States! (This event was so fast, the top 4 went to states).
Emily Bardak went on to tear up the pool in Ithaca! She finished…
Are you ready…?
5th overall in the State with a NEW St. Anthony’s High School Record of 56.81! Holy Fast!
One of our deepest events of Champs was the 100 free. How about this: We had Bryn Harley (6th), Karen Ip (4th), Sarah Schatz (2nd), and the event winner Mary Tonna (1st)… ALL FOUR would have scored points in the Trial/Final event! That is just amazing!
Pleasant Palmer, recovering from illness, gave everything she had in her final swim at Champs and made it her best one. She actually finished 11th overall. It was great to see her smile as she walked back to her welcoming team. In Finals, the Friars were just coming alive! I climbed up the first row of the bleachers next to Niaz for a good view as everyone cheered the anticipated fast 100 free Final heat. Jackie Zahn, still feeling good after her 50, swam a season best by far with a 7th place 57.90. Erin Boyle ALWAYS steps it up in a big spot. She is one of the most talented sprinters we’ve ever had. She just tore it up with a 54.43 and a 4th place finish!
I’ll never forget where Meghan Slattery started on the Friars. That small skinny freshman over in lane 2 who had just started swimming. She was only swimming 3 days a week, but working harder than any swimmer in the pool. Improving every single year on the Friars… and now as a senior, she stands on the block in lane 5 once again and we ALL are awaiting her 100 free. “Take you mark…”
This is not the 50. There is no one around her. We are just all watching Slatts GO! A commanding half of a second lead at the 50 split, and continues to open that lead to a full second for her second win of Champs. The rest of the Friars join me (I say that because I’m giving myself credit for jumping in the air first…) as we celebrate another amazing Friar performance. Note: That second win secured Meghan as the leagues “Swimmer of the Meet” award recipient.
In Ithaca Meghan swam even Faster in the 100 free, breaking her own St. Anthony’s school record with a blistering 51.71 and placed 6th overall in NY State!
Most swimmers cringe at the word “distance”. It takes a whole different type of mentality to conquer these events. I found it amazing that one of the most competitive events at Champs was the 500! The competition this year was so incredible that it was a much anticipated event. Our four Friars pounded out 1,000 awesome yards! (500 each day!).
Brittney Kudla is so proficient in so many events for us, but she was needed once again in the 500. She finished in 13th overall! Morgan Graning’s swim was one of those that was really meaningful for me. She had such an awesome year. Her best year. I even told her so. I thought she was so focused on her swimming and became such an influential senior leader. I was thrilled how she embraced swimming the 500. She swam her personal best 5:47.52, finishing 12th which beat that incredible Champs swim she had two years ago! I thought Amanda Nasti was a nervous wreck at Trials. I actually love that because it also shows such a strong desire to swim great for her team and teammates. But, it’s how a swimmer can handle those nerves and turn that into something positive that counts. That’s exactly what Nasti did. She held pace exactly how we [the coaches] knew she could. She blew away her heat with a 5:30.75 finishing 9th and winning by over 9 seconds! Her time would have actually placed her 7th if she was in the final heat!
The 200 free relay is always exciting. I think for many swimmers it’s a favorite. Our relay this year consisted of 7 Friars in total! Our relay was swum perfectly in Trials by Jackie Zahn, Mary Tonna, Bryn Harley, and Gabby Mattutat. They had us seeded 3rd for Finals, better than even anticipated. In Finals, we had Katherine Meyers, Jackie Zahn, Jillian Smerechniak, and Erin Boyle. This awesome foursome finished 2nd to this years record setting TMLA relay.
** You guys might want to get a snack, or a new cool drink… because you are going to want to get real comfortable and read this! If you [our swimmers] remember back to us being in our team huddle on the Chaminade pool deck at the conclusion of the Kellenberg meet where I said ‘you have no idea how important it is that we qualified our 200 free relay tonight, but I promise you will see in the future’. Well… check out the journey THIS 200 free relay went on:
As a whole, I truly believed that we [the Friars State Team] were at least another top 10 team, but how high we’d go depended on our relays. (Relay points are doubled in Championship meets). From Champs, this 200 free relay was seeded 28th heading into States. I gave them my usual ‘pep talk’ to try and inspire them, explaining that they needed to be at least 20th for a chance to score points at States. But in reality, how many places can a relay really move up against the best in NY State. 2 spots? 3? Some relays even move down with better times. But not the Friars, and certainly not THIS relay! ALL FOUR girls swam faster: Meyers (25.76) Smerechniak (24.89) Zahn (25.24) and Boyle (24.83) to swim TWO SECONDS faster (1:40.72) and placed 20th at Trials! From 28th to 20th! Are you kidding me? They did it! They are going to score… but how high? It was so exciting heading into finals. Man, did they want to swim. I got to stand right next to that lane 10 outside lane with my heart beating out of my chest. Meyers leads off with a 25.48 flat start… faster than trials. Jillian was next, 24.79… and yes, faster again. Jackie has the best start of her career and swims a 25.19… faster! And finally, our power anchor Erin Boyle, with incredible determination flies off the block and swims a 24.55! Look at the clock… holy cow! THIRTEENTH??!! Yes it is… 13th! This relay went from a seeded 28th to 13th! (I’ve never seen a leap like that.) And… with a NEW St. Anthony’s HS Record of 1:40.01! It was amazing. I’ll never forget it.
We were so awesome in backstroke. Our 50 backstrokers dominated. (huge shout-out here to Taylor Sforza who couldn’t compete due to a concussion after being thrown from a horse… again! We’re happy she’s ok!) Devon Connolly (Dev-O) placed 5th . Freshman Alannah Chernik swam awesome placing 2nd to our very own Meghan Boyle who swam an incredible 32.64 and won by 1.4 seconds! (** that’s faster than 4 teams had in their medley relay!)
The consolation heat was as exciting as we cheered on Vanessa Franco who won the heat with a commanding full second (107.65) victory. We had 3 Friars in Finals: Freshman Kiersten Clancy swam a personal best 105.19 and finished 5th overall. The swim was as bright as her personality!
I have to say; every year there are swims that just really pull on your heart strings. Nicole Pikulik had her “Friar moment” right here at champs in her senior year. She swam breaststroke when her team needed her in previous years. Last year she qualified for States representing the Friars in track. But finally, THIS was her year. Nicole swam into 3rd place with her personal best 104.69. This year’s backstroke Champion was none other that Beth Caruana! There was no other event this year that was so dominated by one person. Beth took off at the start, and was simply… gone! Known as a “second half” swimmer, Beth was already leading by two seconds at the 50! Now, for the strong part of her swim, Beth opened her lead further and WON the 100 backstroke by almost 5 seconds with a 56.97! Are you kidding me?
Girls States is probably one of the toughest meets there is on the athletes. Beth was a top contender at States, but was just starting to become sick at the start of the meet, and it became tougher on her as the days went on. She battled as only she can do, and still managed to place 8th overall in NY State with a time of 57.10. I can’t even explain how much I enjoy watching her swim. I am such a fan of hers and her competitive spirit.
Breaststroke… man we were loaded, but so was the rest of the league this year. Even in the 50, the competition was strong. We had Syndey Bernhardt with an incredible 40.3 and that was already 14th place! The next three were all seniors. Bitsy Triscari finished her amazing Friar career in the breaststroke. Bitsy has been swimming so many events for us, always smiling. And, I’m giving her freestyle a special shout out because it improved so much this season. What a joy to have her positive aura around this team. We had the pleasure of welcoming Hana Heavey back to the team this year, and we couldn’t be happier! This true Friar finished in 7th! And, finishing in 2nd was none other than international student and senior Karen Ip. Only one year, and I feel like she’s been on the team for 4.
I believe the 100 breast state cut is the toughest to make. It’s so fast. And, the top 3 breaststrokers in the league were on other teams. Sounds like tough competition… right? Well, it is. But how ‘bout the fact that ALL FOUR of our Friars swam in the Final heat! Strength in numbers baby!
We had freshman Danielle Pikulik finish 7th, junior Devin “Dev-I” Gilio finish in 6th, freshman Amanda Heinz in 5th, and junior Katherine Meyers in 4th! How cool is that? 4-5-6-7. What a huge point event for us.
One of my personal favorite events is the 400 free relay. It’s also one that gets remembered as everyone walks off the pool deck after a great meet. The event gets filled with the top freestylers in the league.
** Line ‘em up behind the block and let’s see what ‘ya got!
TMLA had just set a new 200 free league record, SHA was as fast as they’ve been in years, and SFP has relay girls already going to States. Time to race!
In a last minute order switch, we lead off with Erin Boyle. She had such a strong weekend she was to get us off and running… which she did! An awesome 55 flat start was just what we needed. Then, off the block shot Emily Bardak, and it was see yaaa…
After a field of great lead off swimmers, Emily tore up the water at Eisenhower and built up a 3 second Friar lead! It was the Black ‘n Gold Friar cap out in front again, and with Jillian Smerechniak flying off the block, we weren’t going to look back. Jillian may be our top distance swimmer, but man can she sprint. No one was catching her… not today. With our full three second lead in tact, our anchor was Meghan Slattery! As she goes off the block, the standing ovations begin. Black and Gold begins to be the dominant color across the pool in the stands. The Friars, including Charlotte Vine with her injured foot, were standing up filling the bleachers. Me, I had my arms up in celebration for all 52 seconds of the swim! It was fitting that our team MVP was the one to put her hand on the wall proclaiming the Friars as Champions once again! Slatts added on another second as the Friars relay team WINS by 4 full seconds in the Granddaddy of all relays.
809.5 Team points in total marked the Lady Friars 6th Straight Championship.
I have witnessed so many amazing Friar moments over the past 26 years. Another one I will never forget is this relay that capped off one of the greatest State performances we’ve ever had. Up to this point, we were the talk of the Ithaca pool deck. We were flawless. Best times every time we hit the water and people there noticed. Meghan Slattery had won the NY State Scholar-Athlete award to a huge well deserving Full Natatorium Standing Ovation as she was recognized by the State. We had amazing moments… and now our relay still has to swim!
After Trials, we are an 8th place seed and in Finals. Slatts leads the relay off in Lane 9. Switching back to a track start, she gives it all she has and her first 25 is perfect. This is her final swim at States as a senior and she is making the best of it! Slatts swims an amazing 51.85 and my voice is cracking already as I scream at the scoreboard. Sophomore Emily Bardak empties the tank and swims… are you ready for this…??? A 52.54! WHAT?
Jillian Smerechniak was as psyched as I have EVER seen her and rips up the pool with a personal best 54.59! The Friars are just on fire!
Erin Boyle was simply in a zone. I usually get Erin’s “half smile” when I try to give her a “pep” talk. She never wants her nerves to show through, so she just smiles. Not this time. Not in her final State swim. No smile; Erin was ALL business. Probably the best start of her season and hanging with the best in the State for a full 100 yards. Her 54.14 swim places the Lady Friars relay in a 6th place overall finish with a NEW St. Anthony’s HS Record of 3:33.12!
Team scores: The Lady Friars finished 5th overall in the Federation. 5th in New York State! 5th! Oh my God… I couldn’t even believe what I was seeing. I really knew we were at least a top 10 team.
But 5th? WOOOO!
Championships don’t just get handed to you. They are earned.
And THIS CHAMPIONSHIP… was EARNED.
It was earned by all. Every girl who showed up to practice and jumped in that water at 6am with her teammates. Every girl who patted her teammate on the back after another great swim. Every tear that may have been shed as personal goals became tougher and as a result we had to work harder. Every team cheer. (even the few crappy ones! Haha) Every parent that had to listen to that 5am alarm clock, sacrificing sleep so their daughter can have the best possible opportunity to call herself a Friar Champion. Every coach who sacrificed time from their own families to spend so much time with their Friar family. You ALL mattered.
I can’t thank you enough… my team, my Friars. Your enthusiasm rejuvenated me once again making every year so memorable. I can’t think of 42 girls more deserving of being called… CHAMPIONS.
6 straight baby!
Proud to be called your coach,
|Unbeaten in the
regular season, the Lady Friars go on to win the 2015 NSGCHSAA
Championship in convincing fashion.
Congratulations to Sacred Heart & The Mary Louis Academy on their 2nd & 3rd place finishes, respectively.
Megan Slattery was named meet MVP
after winning both the 50 & 100 Freestyle Events. Slattery broke
her own Catholic State record in the 50 free, winning that event by 0.01
Beth Caruana nearly missed breaking Melissa Bischoff's Catholic State record in the 100 Backstroke, winning the event but barely missing the record by a mere 0.09 seconds.
Emily Bardak was the only other Friar swimmer to win an individual event, winning the 200 IM by over 2 seconds.
Friar swimmers captured GOLD in both the 200 Medley Relay (Caruana, Bardak, Katherine Meyers, & Slattery) and the 400 Freestyle Relay (Erin Boyle, Bardak, Jillian Smerechniak, & Slattery).
Sacred Heart's Freshman Lauryn Johnson won two events, the 100 Butterfly & 500 Free and St. John the Baptist's Eliza Brant rewrote the record books, winning the 100 Breastroke at this year's championships.
Coach Dan McBride was named "Coach of the Year" by the NSGCHSAA.
The Friars Swimming Family is praying for the speedy recovery of Senior and Captain of the St. Francis Prep Swim Team, Dana Villano.
Dana suffered a possible stroke during the 200 Free event swimming for her team.
The entire CHSAA Family hopes to see you soon!
Boys Swimming & Diving
|Team Roster (2015-16)|
This was an extremely talented group trying out for the Boys Varsity Swimming/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 2015-16 season. Please come to practice Thursday, October 29th.
* ALL DIVERS REPORT TO PRACTICE
The 200 Medley Relay (Caruana, Meyers, Bardak, Slattery), two by senior and Captain Meghan Slattery (50 and 100 free), two by junior Beth Caruana (100 fly and 100 back), and two by sophomore Emily Bardak (200 IM and 100 fly). But a meet like that goes way beyond your superstars. Everyone who steps up on that block is scoring points for the Friars... and tonight, every point counted!
shout-out to Junior Jillian Smerechniak... who RACED an incredible 1700
yards in the Friars two Biggest WINS of the season!
Special shout-out to Junior Jillian Smerechniak... who RACED an incredible 1700 yards in the Friars two Biggest WINS of the season!
Congratulations to ALL our Lady Friars on the best meet BY FAR in the past four years.
you for your leadership, and lets take this positive roll we are on
straight into Championships!
Senior Meghan Slattery, Junior Beth Caruana, and Sophomore Emily Bardak ALL swim State Qualifying times in the Friars 7th win of the season.
Last night in Brooklyn at the Brooklyn Sports Club, it was all Friars! Right from the 200 Medley Relay, the talented ladies put the pressure on TMLA. Coach Dan said "it was by far our best performance of the season thus far. I was very proud to see all their hard work starting to pay off."
Jillian swam a
strong 200 free as well as freshman Pleasant Palmer. Emily Bardak
wins, and Amanda Heinz swam a season best in the 200 IM. Slatts as
well as Karen Ip dominated their heats in the 50 free. Hanna
Skrodanes continues to improve in the fly as she wins the 50 again.
Emily and Beth Caruana went 1-3 against TMLA's top butterflyer.
Slatts swam another state qualifying 53 point 100 freestyle, and Erin
Boyle swam her season best. Amanda Nasti has been working hard to
improve her 500 distance freestyle and turned in an awesome swim.
Beth Caruana went 1:00 in the 100 back and qualified for States.
Senior Hana Heavey has been improving every time she swims her
breaststroke again this season and came away with a great win in the 50.
Freshman Danielle Pikulik wins the 100 breast, and Devin Gilio swam her
BEST of the season by far. And if you think all this sounds
good... JUST WAIT; two more meets to go this week and the Lady
Friars are just getting started!
Fall is finally turning cold... but the Lady Friars are just starting to heat up! The meet kicked off with an awesome Friar 200 medley relay battle as Nicole Pikulik, Karen Ip, Jackie Zahn, and Mary Tonna just "touched out" Vanessa Franco, Danielle Pikulik, Amanda Nasti, and Bryn Harley (by less than a second) for an opening 1-2 Friar finish. That was followed up with Emily Bardak's amazing 212.83 State Qualifying 200 IM swim!
Hannah Skrodanes is improving every time she hits the water and shines with wins in both 50 fly and backstroke. Beth Caruana swam a personal best 500 free with an incredible 5:15.94! Hana Heavey, Charlotte Vine, and Sydney Bernhardt gave the Friars an awesome 1-2-3 finish in the 50 breast. The final highlight that had the entire place cheering was when Meghan Slattery, Emily Bardak, Jillian Smerechniak, and Katherine Meyers qualified St. Anthony's for the 200 Free Relay at States! (Ithaca or bust!)
The Lady Friars are now 5-0!
I'd like to thank EVERYONE who made last nights Breast Cancer Awareness Meet so much fun and a tremendous success! The effort from all the swimmers, all my fellow coaches, Sarah Triscari who scores all our meets, our official, and course... all our Friar parents cheering in the stands and loving the close meet.
** Special thanks to St. Dom's Coach Caitlin, St. Mary's Coach Paul, and all their swimmers and parents who helped make this meet such a success!
I personally had a blast!
(plus... after the Purple team destroyed my team last year giving Coach Liz and Coach Annie bragging rights for an entire year, it was great to get the win back! HAHAHA)
** YOU WERE ALL AWESOME!
Our bake sale yielded $120! In addition, we received $250 in donation checks and more still to come! UNBELIEVABLE!
Thank you... thank you... thank you!
** Special shout out to 11 year old Jaden Byrne (St. Dom's) who gave up his $10 allowance and donated it to our Breast Cancer Meet.
You are one amazing young man Jaden!
Final: The Pink team held off the late attack from the Purple team who tied the meet up twice, for a final 118-116 Pink team victory!
It was the best meet of the season so far, with some close swims where the Friars showed their determination. Meghan "Slatts" Slattery dominated the 100 free and qualified for States with a 53.00! A fantastic dual meet swim from our captain.
Sam Silva swam her personal best 50 free and Danielle McCabe swam a beautiful 50 fly. Gabby Mattutat is improving every time she hits the water this season and had a dominating win in the 100 fly. Sarah Schatz showed a ton of potential in her first ever 400m Free. Both freshmen, Kiersten Clancy and Vanessa Franco had beautiful backstroke swims. Jillian Smerechniak, Amanda Heinz, and Danielle Pikulik battled it out in the 100 breast... but their 1,2,4 finish locked up the third win of the season!
Beth Caruana qualifed her second individual event for States as she wins the 100 backstroke!
Emily Bardak ripped the pool up with an outstanding swim in the 200 Free (just missing a State cut...)
Captain Meghan Slattery, one of the hardest working swimmers you will ever find looked awesome in the 200 IM.
Welcome back this year Hana Heavey... as she wins her 50 free!
Devin Gilio is broadening her event list as she wins the 50 fly.
Lauren Kryger is so strong as she wins the 100 fly.
Freshman Regan Bruno had a huge confidence building swim as she wins the 100 free.
Jackie Zahn gets her first win of the season in the 100 free.
Jillian Smerechniak is amazing to watch as she swims a fantastic 400 free with a huge win.
Freshman Hannah Skrodanes gets her first win as a Friar in the 50 back.
Freshman Danielle Pikulik shows off her beautiful technique winning the 100 breaststroke.
Congrats to ALL on a fantastic performance!
The very first race of the first event of the first meet of the season already started us off with a bang as Beth Caruana, Kat Meyers, Emily Bardak, and Meghan Slattery qualified the Friars for States in the 200 Medley Relay!
The Lady Friars went on to have Two More state qualifiers, as Emily Bardak AND Beth Caruana BOTH qualified in the 100 fly.
Pleasant Palmer won the 200 free in her first ever event as a Friar!
Jillian Smerechniak already looks fantastic as she wins the 200 IM.
In her first year as a Friar, junior Bryn Harley won the 50 free.
Captain Erin Boyle won the 100 free.
Freshman Vanessa Franco looked outstanding in her first event as a Friar winning the 100 back.
Captain Meghan Slattery was amazing winning the 100 breast.
The Lady Friars are already swimming like a team. Our Captains Meghan and Erin, our seniors, and all our upperclass leaders have done a remarkable job making all our new swimmers feel comfortable.
Great job to all.
Our final 8x25, 200 free relay brought the house down as Erin Boyle, Emily Bardak, Kat Meyers, Jackie Zahn, Kiersten Clancy, Jill Smerechniak, Pleasant Palmer, and the awesome finish by Beth Caruana, were able to win by only .08! Whew...!
Swim Across America
CJ Arena and JD Sterbens represented the Friars and raised over $2000 to beat Cancer at Swim Across America.
CJ was the overall winner of the full mile race...
& JD won the half mile!Incredible accomplishment!
Friar Alum Caitlin Napoli ('06) on your engagement!
Friar Alum Kevin Lindsey ('06) on your wedding!
Former Girls Moderator Laura Giannuzzi on your wedding!
Remembering Friar Maggie Fischer
Ashley Jiran ('15) swam the Great South Bay finishing 27th out of 109 (and beating Coach Dan by .02).
Friar Alum Garret Golden ('00) has the 2nd most bay swims in history with his 15th crossing! Amazing!