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Please visit our previous Seasons in Review by clicking on the "Archives" link on the menu bar to the left.

Women's Captains Kylie Danin Cassie Gharnit Ashley Jiran
Men's Captains Zach Towers Brian Wendland Sean McShane Lee Ann Santore

 

2014-15 States
Results

I’ve never been one of those coaches who can control his emotions on a pool deck.

Never have been… never will be.

But who can blame me?  I cheer for the hardest working, interminably dedicated bunch of teammates that call themselves “The Friars!”

 

This entire season, these guys worked tirelessly.  Baby steps… improving their talent every time they hit the water.  Dual meet after dual meet; till success with the 2 point win.  Grinding out every stroke they take for the closest finish of .5 at Champs.

Well, States?  

Baby steps are over… it was a Giant Leap!

Holy Fast!  Those Friar Boys were AWESOME!

True, Fordham Prep went on to a historical 5-Peat State victory… But man was there a lot of chatter about the “unranked team in Newsday” that blew away the rest of the teams. 

That’s right Friar Fans… we are Numero Uno on Long Island… AGAIN!

 

From Great Leadership, Great Teams do Great things.

That starts with Zach, Brian, Sean, Lee Ann, and the rest of our seniors and juniors… our leaders.  They got this team to do the most important thing:  To believe in THEMSELVES.  There was not a race all season that they didn’t give 110% of effort.

I mean, Friar Gang or Die… Right?

 

Ithaca, February 26-28, 2015.

200 Medley Relay:

We were seeded 2nd.  I wish you all could have seen it.  Tyler took that baby out perfectly with a great start and right with the best backstrokers in the State in a 24.33 split. Ben Howard with the confidence of a champion was perfect as he hung in with the best and a 27.4 split, then off the block goes Zach Towers and the roar begins as he puts our relay in front with a 22.67 split! (yes, that’s fly folks).   Then there was a Black and Gold blur that flew off the block, (with that touch of coral [from his suit] that looked like Mighty Mouse’s cape). That blur was Sean Cannon.  The best part was when Coach Dom from Fordham Prep patted Coach Scott and I on the back BEFORE Sean’s foot hit the wall of his flipturn, because he acknowledged what every one at Ithaca College was thinking…

This baby is Over!  Sean split a blistering 20.46!

The St. Anthony’s  200 Medley Relay of Tyler Meyers, Ben Howard, Zach Towers, and Sean Cannon finished with a State Champion, CHSAA State Record, First place, All-American Consideration time of 1:34.86!

 

Sean Cannon broke BOTH of his current records:

50 Free:   First Friar ever UNDER 21… with a 2nd place overall 20.92!

100 Free:  Man, did Sean go for it as he went out in a 21.6 and finished with a 4th place overall personal best 46.24!

 

Zach Towers swam TWO AAC times and also broke BOTH of his current records:

200 IM:  Zach finished 2nd Overall with an All-American Consideration time of 1:52.02!

100 Fly:  Zach finished 4th Overall with an All-American Consideration time of 50.45!

(Note:  just for the record, we were just 12 points behind FP at this point)

 

CJ Arena:

500 Free:  What can I even say about this kid?  Every time he hits the water he gets better.  I mean EVERY TIME!  The FIRST TIME he broke the school record was his best at Fordham, then his best at Chaminade, then his best in Champs prelims, then his best at Champs finals, then his best at States prelims, and finally, ends the season UNDER 4:40 moving up 4 spots winning consols with a 4:39.85!  Are you Kidding Me?!

 

100 Back:

Brian Wendland swam a 56.05, and Conor Rutigliano made it back in the bonus heat to finish with his personal best 53.53!

 

Tyler Meyers:

200 IM:   Are you ready?  Following his monumental Champs meet, Tyler dropped 2 seconds in prelims to get into consols with a 1:57.75… THEN, with an opportunity to score, drops 2.7 more to finish TENTH overall with a 1:55.02!

100 Back:  Tyler swims another personal best 52.01 to seed 8th place in Finals… and in one of the closest heats in the meet, drops to a 51.77 and moves up to… FIFTH!

 

Ben Howard, still feeling good after becoming a State Champion, swims a 100.45 100 Breast!

 

At this point, the team is feeling great.  Looking at the overall points, we pretty much have 2nd place locked up, because coming up to the blocks is the Friars 400 Free Relay.

They are psyched, confident, and focused… and IT’S SHOWTIME!

I wish you all could see it… what it’s like to have Cannon lead this thing off.  For the FOURTH time this weekend, Sean Cannon swims a 46 freestyle and gets our relay in front again with a 46.44 flat start lead off swim! 

Backing him up as we have done all season long is Zach Towers who now just puts that ridiculous commanding lead on the field.  It’s ALL Friars at this point as Zach swims a 46.51!

Two 46’s!

After swimming the meet of his life, Tyler Meyers again hits a personal best as he goes UNDER 48 with a 47.22!   9 tenths under his Champs time… and he touches the wall for our anchor… Noah Chernik.

We know the script, the top relay in the state has that 45 anchor that we can’t touch, and here they come. 

But in THIS version of the script, there will be NO close touchout for Noah to do, as there isn’t a 3rd place team close to him!  Now swimming like the well seasoned veteran, Noah rips up the pool at Ithaca with his personal best 48.42 and as he puts his hand on the wall…

It’s official!

The Friars have finished their HIGHEST place ever at States taking SECOND behind the 5-time Champs Fordham Prep!

Our 400 Freestyle Relay (Sean Cannon, Zach Towers, Tyler Meyers, Noah Chernik) finished with a NEW SCHOOL RECORD, All-American Consideration, 2nd Place overall 3:08.59!

***  that is NOT a typo…  that IS a 3:08!

 

I try my best to write the excitement that we all felt in the natatorium of Ithaca College on the weekend of February 28, 2015.  But, unless you have ever witnessed what this Friar team does;  The energy that they swim with, and how it fills the room and pumps your adrenaline like crazy… you will never understand it. 

I’m so happy for this team and I beam with pride at all they have accomplished, but boy am I sad it’s over.  THANK YOU TO ALL…  This was ONE HECK OF A RIDE!!!!

 

Friars forever….   Friar Gang or Die!

 Fordham Prep:        245

St. Anthony’s:        167

Garden City:          121

Half Hollow Hills:   97

Brockport:                94

Chaminade:              91

Pittsford:                  90

Ithaca:                      87

And then the rest of the 131 schools….

GO FRIARS!!!

CJ Arena

Noah Chernik

Tyler Meyers

Zach Towers

Sean Cannon

Ben Howard

Conor Rutigliano

Brian Wendland

 

New York Catholic HS Swimming/Diving Championships

 Friars touch-out Chaminade for 2nd place in the NYCHSAA Champioinships.

State powerhouse Fordham Prep won this year's NYCHSAA Championship.

Led by the meet MVP Senior Zach Towers, the Friars finished 2nd in the 2015 NYCHSAA Swimming & Diving Championships, a mere 0.5 points ahead of rival Chaminade.  Towers earned the meets MVP award after winning both of his individual events and nearly breaking the New York State Catholic HS record in the 100 fly.

It came down to the final relay of the meet as the Friars barely touched-out rival Chaminade for the 2nd place finish overall.

Coach Beth's divers got the Friars to an early advantage, led by Captain Lee Ann Santore, who placed 2nd overall in diving.  The Friars headed into the swimming competition in 2nd place, behind State Champion Fordham Prep.

Lee Ann's performance was the highest diving score by any Female Friar... 404.85!

Our other 3 scoring divers: Jake (14th), Leanne (16th) & Maddie (17th) were amazing!   Then to top it off, Meghan Boyle would have scored 15th... and Kate held 26th through 5 rounds.

Overall... the evening was a tremendous success, and Coach Beth never ceases to amaze me with her incredible coaching talents. 

Coach's Corner

“The stars have to align…” 

I’ve said it myself.

Sometimes it seems like such a mountain to climb to compete with the best teams that the sport of high school swimming has to offer.

Well, on February 7th 2015, the Big Dipper [Merak and Dubhe] points directly at the star Polaris… Otherwise known as the North Star.  The brightest star in our sky.  And on this day, it was shining on the Friars!

 

Earlier in the week on Tuesday the 3rd, the divers took to the springboards of Fordham University.  Diving Champs is a long… long… long… evening, with the best of the best diving round after round.  Staying focused and continuing to perform at a Championship level is all part of being an elite diver to compete at such a meet.  Coach Beth had our Friars more than prepared.  Our three “first year” divers simply amazing!   Leanne Daly, Meghan Boyle, and Kate McKevitt dove like well seasoned veterans.  Sophomore Jake Krotz saved his best for last as he nailed his double!  Senior Maddie Rocco had the best meet of her life for her final Championships for the Friars.  I don’t even know if people realize the hard work that goes into this sport, and Maddie’s work ethic is top notch.  Years of hard work all put into 11 dives.   I’m so proud of her and her incredible career.

Our diving team was led again this year by our Captain Lee Ann Santore.  Already a leader on our swimming team, and completing her best swim season as a senior… we are privileged to have her talents leading the diving team.  Round after round, Lee Ann nailed each dive with consistency.  Because I announce the meet… I was able to keep “peaking” at the computer screen next to me.  I would pump my fist every time I saw Lee Ann’s name climb up the ranks of the 28 competing divers.  I celebrated when she climbed into second… for two rounds dropped back to fourth… and finally when the pressure was so intense; NAILED her final dive to propel her to finish in 2nd place!  So, not only is Lee Ann the highest scoring female diver we’ve ever had with 4:04.85 championship points… we’ve only had 3 league Champions at St. Anthony’s.  I’ve now spent 8 seasons with Lee Ann, and I have been such a fan since day one.  I am amazed at all she has accomplished and so thankful I’ve been able to witness it all!

After all said and done…  Coach Beth’s amazing diving team gave the Friars a commanding 64 points leading us into the swimming events!

 Swimming: 

The first accomplishment of our 200 medley relay was at our duel meet vs. Fordham Prep.  The State Champs haven’t lost that relay since 2010 when we last beat them.  Our relay win at that dual meet sparked the entire team.

Heading into Champs, Chaminade had the top time of the season.  We knew it was going to be a tough three team battle for first, but we were once again relying on this relay to give us our spark.  Tyler Meyers entered the water as psyched as I’ve ever seen him.  And he showed it with his best start of the season and a 24.83 backstroke split!  Ben Howard was our key.  It’s no secret he’s a second half swimmer… but it was his time to sprint with best of ‘em.  And sprint he did.  His 27.6 split had us right with them.  The top butterflyer in the league, Zach Towers, takes off, and puts the Friars out front by 4 tenths of a second with his 23.12 split.  The cheers of “GO” from the Friars turn to an all-out scream as the best 50 freestyler in the league Sean Cannon fires off the block…  everyone’s hands go in the air as we all witness what Coach John is screaming…  “YOU CAN’T CATCH SEAN!”

And that was the truth, as only 20.79 seconds later, our spark turns into an explosion…  the veins bulging out of my neck as I scream in celebration.  Our relay has done it again with a State Qualifying first place finish of 1:36.27!  Our team is jumping up and down on the bleachers… (looking back I guess that’s not too safe…) the cheers of our parents, donned in their awesome new Black/Gold Friar Champs shirts, are bellowing down over the railing, capped off with the all too familiar voice of Ed Cannon screaming “That’s my boy” is my confirmation that yes, here were are again at memorable Championship!

The 200 freestyle yielded more points than actually anticipated.  Armin Mahabadi finished 20th.  It was an absolute thrill to watch Brian Wendt have the meet of his life as he exploded with a 1:55.38 and a 14th place finish in consols!  (read that again: a 1:55 for Wendt!)

CJ Arena was just rock solid all year.  His love for competition, and his heart of a Friar, is just a winning combination.  He placed 7th overall with an incredible personal best 1:47.64! 

I will never forget the expression on Noah Chernik’s face every time he swam and looked at the scoreboard this weekend.  It was priceless; as he was almost shocked to see his State Qualifying 1:46.08 that gave him a 5th place overall finish!  These four guys came up huge for the Friars.

One of our overall strongest events was the 200 IM.  “Four Big Guns” for the Friars!  Joe Fouad destroyed his heat with a 2:00.97 and swam a much needed 9th place finish.  I preach to my team how important it is to swim well at Trials.  This couldn’t have been done better and more meaningful than for Kyle Barry.  Starting to come down with a fever and getting sick, he swam his best to get into Finals and guarantee his 8th place finish.  Remember those stars aligning?  Kyle was an all-important star for his teammates.

Tyler Meyers showed off his talent in all four strokes and almost made swimming a personal best State Qualifying 159.74 look easy. 

The 200 IM yields the best all around swimmers; guys that work hard on a daily basis perfecting all four strokes.  Now, take into consideration winning the event by 3 seconds… and you have exactly what Zach Towers did.  Talk about making a statement?  Coaches of other teams have commented to me that we have the best looking Team Cap in the entire league, and personally I think it looks best right out there in the front where Zach put it!  Zach swam a blazing State Qualifying first place 153.88!

Are you looking for excitement?  Look no further than the “man-up” 50 freestyle.  No room for hesitation, and at this level, certainly no room for error.  JD Sterbens emerged as a tremendous freestyler.  He was put in pressure situations early in the season and handled them like a veteran.  His sprinting skills improved and he was a necessary scorer for us. 

John Carnevale became another sprinting asset for the Friars.  We [the coaches] kept a close eye on his skills and his consistency finally peaked at just the right time…  Champs.  His best time of 23.69 had all of us going crazy!

And talk about peaking at just the right time…  Conor Rutigliano went INSANE!  What a weekend to have the meet of your life.  For those who were lucky enough to be watching the Friars at Champs, also got to see Tigs skyrocket his level of swimming.  I knew I was going to see something special, but his 22.41 6th place finish had me hugging Coach John [his club coach]. 

One swimmer who definitely brings every person in the room wearing Black and Gold to their feet is our top sprinter Sean Cannon.  His talent is an asset beyond the points he scores, as I constantly use him as a visual example to all his teammates.  When he steps up on the block, my adrenaline just starts pumping.  “Take your mark…”  and Sean is GONE!  His start is just amazing.  He hits that wall and first off that turn and never looks back.  It actually took you longer to read this paragraph than it took for him to swim his State Qualifying, First Place, Record Setting, 21.07! 

After the 20 minute intermission… the swimmers finish warming up, and it’s time to get the team cheering again.  I had informed Sean McShane that he qualified for multiple events at champs, and he couldn’t do both free and fly as they are back to back.  He replied “It’s my Senior year, and I want to go out with a bang…  give me the 100 fly!”  Well, after me having 13 straight years with a “McShane” on the team, Sean brought us all to our feet as he blew away his heat and dropped 4 seconds with a 1:01.95!

“Bonsai”!

The 100 fly was another event with all four Friars scoring.  Freshman Conor Lucas has so much potential in the event, and swam his personal best 1:01.35.  Dan Cellamare was another most improved swimmer this year.  He is actually talented in multiple events, but we needed a big swim in the fly.  He won his heat, breaking a minute with his personal best 59.75!  The fly was the second event that Kyle Barry muscled out to make finals as his color began to drain from his body and his fever grew higher.  Again, his effort was just incredible to guarantee his 8th place finish. 

Already with a win in the 200 IM, Zach Towers steps up on Block #5.  Right from the first wall, it was clear that he was in command of the Final heat.  By the time it was over, Zach again blew ‘em away and won the event by over 2 seconds with a State Qualifying and NEW School Record, 50.65!

Note:  Zach being a double winner locked up his “MVP of the Championships” Award!   What a proud moment for the Friars!

 

Remember what I was saying about JD Sterbens improving?  Well, I just want to take the opportunity to brag that ALL three of us… Coach Scott, Coach John, and myself, “called” that JD would swim a 53 at Champs.  Well, guess what…  53.93!  Bam! 

Ben Howard’s second event at Champs has changed throughout his tenure.  This year we needed him in the 100 free.  (Lee Ann Santore is my witness that I called this one too!  Haha)  Ben dropped 2 seconds off his best and swam consols with a 51.91!  (Yeah baby… Ben swam a 51!)

When Sean Cannon steps on the block, and it happens to be Champs, you can pretty much expect a new school record.  So you can all guess this one…  Sean Cannon has an awesome swim placing 2nd with a State Qualifying, New St. Anthony’s record 46.48!          Holy Fast!

 

The 500 free yielded one of the most competitive events of the entire meet.  ** How about even the top swimmer of the consolation heat made it to States!  That’s a deep event!  Now, how about the fact that Brian Wendt, with the swim meet of his life, finished in 13th place with a 513.94!  (I think I blew out my vocal chords as Wendt spent 500 yards chasing down a certain teams swimmer and finally touched him out! Haha)   And, within all those State Qualifiers…  the Friars had THREE, that’s right… THREE guys in Finals!

Brian Wendland paced a perfect 500 and finished 7th with a State Qualifying 4:50.08!  Brian being able to smile that proudly after that event is priceless!  

I have to give credit when it’s due, because there is no doubt that Noah Chernik was one of the hardest workers that we had this year.  And, shout out to Coach Scott as he meticulously worked with Noah and analyzed every set/swim that he did.  Hard work pays off… as even Noah surprised himself with his amazing 6th place, State Qualifying 4:46.25! 

CJ Arena just simply hit his stride starting with the Fordham Prep meet.  Unshaved… untapered… he swam his best time and first broke the school record.  He was a key component to the two point dual meet win over Chaminade as he beat their top 500 freestyler.  Champs were no different.  He hit his personal best (again) and broke his own record with a State Qualifying, New School Record, 5th place overall, 4:42.27!  (Holy Cow!)

 

The 200 Free Relay was interesting to say the least.  We had what seemed like an entire team of guys ready to go when needed.  At trials, we didn’t use Conor Rutigliano as we needed him to make finals in the backstroke only a few heats later.  We called on JD Sterbens to give us the swim of his life.  And that he did, with the first sub 24 (23.98) 50 freestyle.  Kyle Barry, who was fading fast due to the flu… pulled out an awesome 23.25.   The relay was anchored by our 500 freestylers, CJ Arena and Noah Chernik.  They also swam best times, 23.89 and 23.15 respectively.   At Finals, we had another group of guys all warmed up and ready if needed.  As it turned out, we led off the relay with Conor Rutigliano who was just ripping up the pool every time he dove in, and swam an incredible flat start lead off 22.78!  Coach John was already screaming.  Next up was John Carnevale who finally hit his consistency, and with his awesome 50 free just events earlier… he earned the spot.  Handling the pressure beautifully, he swam a personal best 23.05!  (Way to go Carnevale!)  We anchored the relay with CJ and Noah again, as they were flawless in Trials, and were both hitting best times every time they stepped on the block.  That remained true, as CJ hit his personal best (again) with a 23.53, and for the first time UNDER 23…  Noah Chernik split a 22.57!  ** The importance of all these guys on this relay….?  This combined two day effort defeated the great sprinters of Xaverian and Iona Prep and placed us right behind Chaminade where their top relay only beat us by 2 points.  That, Friar Fans… was HUGE!

 

By this time… tension was almost unbearable.  We had about a 20 point deficit, and only 3 events to keep making up ground.  But it is well known in the world of swimming, that if there is ONE TEAM that is going to fight to the end, it’s the Friars.  I mean, Friar Gang or Die… right?         Right.

 

The 200 Back was so freaking exciting.  We needed big swims, and boy did we get em!  Armin came up huge dropping a second and moving up to 15th in consols.  That’s right, already consols, so we had THREE Friars in Finals.  I just have to say, Brian Wendland’s backstroke was just beautiful.  As picture perfect as he’s ever got his technique working for him.  And it showed as he swam a State Qualifying, 5th place overall 54.65!  YES!

I was simply just trying to get Conor Rutigliano “revved up”… and I said, “Hey, you have the best right next to you… Tyler Meyers.  Get out there and go race HIM!”  I mean, these guys actually take me seriously?  He looked so psyched!  Conor went crazy and swam a 3rd place, State Qualifying 53.94! 

This was Tyler Meyers year.  You could see the determination in his eyes, and how he carried himself to the block.  The confidence was there.  His start was the best in the field… and he never looked back.  Putting that Friars “racing stripe” cap out the in front and keeping it there, Tyler wins the event with a State Qualifying, incredible 52.69!

 

The Friars are alive!  Closing the gap:

Breaststoke as been so big for us at every Champs.  And this year is no different, with every team having awesome breaststrokers, it’s another tall task.  Arya Mahabadi (1:09.52) and freshman Burke Sansiviero (1:08.13) both swam best times to give the Friars FOUR scoring swimmers.  Joe Fouad put his great technique to work and swam an awesome 1:01.63 to place 7th overall in Finals!  Huge points for us.

The chants from the Friars sideline begin…

“Ben… Ben… Ben…”       Louder they become.

But Ben Howard has it blocked out.  Focusing on his outside lane, right from where he won this event the year prior, he has the vision of a Cheetah running at full speed in his head.  His preparation to race at Champs will give anyone watching him an adrenaline rush.

His first 50 is fantastic… just what he needed!  At the 50 he’s in third, and the top 6 guys are less than a second apart. Second half, the top three guys break apart from the field, and at the final turn… Here comes Ben!  On the 4th lap, he’s the fastest in the pool.  The cheetah runs down his prey.  He’s into 2nd, and just runs out of pool.  Ben Howard takes second place in one of the most exciting finishes of the meet, with a State Qualifying 100.18! 

The Friars are in it!

Just 1.5 points behind Chaminade in the battle for second place at Champs.  This Friar team is battle tested.  We’ve been here before.  And four guys are preparing to represent every single accomplishment that their teammates have done for two days of swimming, and 5 hours of diving, into one meaningful 400 yard race.

They huddled on the side of the pool.  They know what’s at stake.  And with pure confidence, Sean, Zach, Tyler, and Noah say “We’ve got this coach”.

I look at Coach Scott…  “my heart is going to leap right out of my chest” I tell him.  He smiles and give me a chuckle… but I know he’s dying too as he lives for moments like this.

It was as silent as the Nassau Aquatic Center has been in two days.  Fordham Prep is about to win the meet, but anyone who closely follows the meet had their eyes on the two lanes outside of Fordham. 

-1.5 points.

Sean Cannon steps up on the block.  When that start went off it looked like Sean was going to rip that block out of the bulkhead!  He was gone.  Now the room was as loud as it’s been in two days!  The top two freestylers are at it again and touch the wall together.  Sean Cannon has done it again… he led us off with a New St. Anthony’s Team Record 46.35! 

The MVP of the meet Zach Towers is off the block.  The cheers turn into screams.  Sean’s older brother Chris Cannon is cheering right next to me with a grin on his face as this reminds him of his glory days with the Friars.  We raise our arms together as Zach’s 46.63 opens up a two second lead on the entire field!  Friars are in first!

Tyler Meyers is our third leg and there is no sign of fatigue from the backstroke event he won just two events prior.  He too swims a personal best time of 48.25!  And to no surprise, here comes the best team in NYS, Fordham.  I’m not even watching the top team go…  my mouth is screaming “Go”… and my heart is praying  (Brother Etienne reassured me that he did in fact finish his entire hand made Franciscan Rosary) and with Kyle Barry now down with the flu, it’s Noah Chernik that is to hold off Chaminade.  He’s already competed and raced over 1500 yards… and he needs to come up with another amazing 100.  Chaminade’s anchor is coming with all he’s got.  Noah’s 4th lap was definitely a quiet one for the Friar Fans as we were all holding our breath…   Coach John breaks the silence…  “He’s gonna hold on!”  We all see it too.  Noah will NOT be caught… not today!

His hand hits the touchpad.  We don’t even have to see the beautiful brand new scoreboard at Eisenhower.  The result is clear…  we finish in second!  Second in the relay, and more meaningful… second at Champs! 

I finally do glance at the scoreboard…  and for only the second time in our team history, we have hit single digits on our 400 free relay with a State Qualifying 309.79!  WHAT!

The team scores were read.  It was the closest I’ve seen in my 28 years of coaching.  Only half a point!  721.5…  and 722.  (Even as I type this, I still almost can’t believe it.)  This team has achieved their goal.

 

I try to remind my athletes as much as I can about what they have accomplished, because your high school days are some of the most special times of your life and every single person on this roster will have moments that they will remember and talk about forever.  At this meet, every Friar has their OWN moment that contributed to that half of a point.  Every stroke, every cheer, every prayer, and yes… every parent that screamed over the railing was a part of this celebrated victory. 

** The stars have aligned, and you were ALL a part.

I’d like to wish a special thanks to everyone…  All our incredibly supportive parents, our Coaches, Beth, Scott and John, our team moderator, Brother Etienne, and of course, all the amazing athletes on this awe inspiring Team. YOU are the FRIARS!

 

Friars finish 2014-15 Season in 2nd place overall.
1st place:  Fordham Prep.
2nd Place:  St. Anthony's
3rd place:  Chaminade

 

Friars Swimming & Diving
Novice Champs

Well, our Championship season is off to a great start!

At Novice Champs, Brendan Ryan swam his two best times of the season, and...  ​Mike Mao QUALIFIED for "A" Champs in the 100 breaststroke!

Awesome job by both Friars!

Meet #8

 The Friars are back to winning as they defeat Xavier at St. Francis College.

Noah Chernik had his distance freestyle working as he won the 200 free.    Senior Ben Howard used his strong breaststroke to come from behind and win the 200 IM.  LeeAnn Santore won the diving... and Maddie and Jake went 2-3.

Zach Towers swam another state qualifying 52.25 in the 100 fly.

Conor Rutigliano continued to improve winning the 100 free.

Wendland, Armin, and Noah Chernik went 1-2-3 for the Friars in the 100 back...  AND, senior Eloery Lee got his FIRST Varsity WIN with a 113.19 in the 100 Breaststroke!

Meet #7

 CJ Arena set a New St. Anthony's School Record as the Friars show a strong performance vs. the top team in NY State, Fordham Prep, in their first loss of the season.

 Compared to last year, we had a much stronger performance at Fordham University.  

Our Medley Relay, Meyers, Howard, Towers, and Cannon, handed Fordham their first relay loss since 2010, and swam the top time in the league so far with a 1:37.65, and qualified for States.

Zach Towers won the 200 IM with an incredible State Qualifying 1:55.00.

The Friars gaind a whole new swimmer in Conor Rutigliano, as he swam his personal best 23.06 in the 50 free. 

Sean Cannon dominated the 100 fly with his State Qualifying 51.89!

Sophomore CJ Arena set a NEW school record in the 500 free with an incredible State Qualifying 4:43.39!

Our 400 free relay, Cannon (State qualifying 47.50 split), Zach Towers, Barry, and Meyers swam our season-best by far with a State Qualifying 314.53!

And to top it all off, Fred Rupnarain and Austin Nguyen both qualified for "A" Champs!

Meet #6

 The Friars once again welcome our friends, Paul VI High School from Fairfax, VA, for our annual swim meet and dinner.

The meet was incredible as both our girls and boys teams do both, show their Friar hospitality and sportsmanship, AND perform perfectly in the pool!  Yes, the Friars had a combined win, as both our girls and boys won their respective meets.

The dinner by our Friar Parents was just incredible.  Something you have to see to believe.  A sincere "thank you" for all your help in making this entire evening a success!

Meet #5

 The Friars shine in their final home dual meet of the season vs Iona Prep.

We are gaining three awesome sprinters in JD Sterbens, John Carnevale, and Mike Caulfield.    LeeAnn Santore continues her unbeaten streak in the diving event.  Armin Mahabadi's backstroke is looking stronger every time he swims it, and senior Brian Wendt has a strong first place finish in the distance 400 freestyle!

Meet #4

 The Friars swim for the first time at Fort Hamilton High School vs Xaverian.

Friars look strong as Kyle Barry and CJ Arena, both double winners, open up a huge lead... and the Friars never look back.

Our divers LeeAnn Santore, Maddie Ruocco, and Jake Krotz go 1-2-3, and Coach Beth has them improving at an amazing pace.

Meet #3

Sean Cannon leads the Friars in a win over St. Peter's on Staten Island

 Junior Sean Cannon qualified in THREE events for States in ONE dual meet, qualifying in the:

  • 50 free (21.66)

  • 100 fly (53.46)

  • 100 free:  leading off the 400 free relay (47.84).

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The meet also featured the debut of diver Kate McKevitt

Armin Mahabadi's backstroke and fly are looking strong.

Both Zach Towers (200 & 100 free) and Joey Fouad (200 IM & 100 back) were double-winners.

Lee Ann Santore won the diving, Noah Chernik won the 500 free, and Ben Howard won the 100 breast.

The meet was capped off with a crowd pleasing 400 free anchor swim by JD Sterbens where he split a personal best (55.40)!

Meet #2

Friar shine in second win of the season!

Divers Leanne Daly and Meghan Boyle made their Friar debuts and Lee Ann Santore extended her winning streak, as the Lady Friars defeated Archbishop Molloy.

JD Sterbens was outstanding in all of his freestyle events and Eloery Lee recorded his best breaststroke finish ever. 

Kyle Barry won the 200 free Zach Towers won the 200 IM Joey Fouad was a double winner, capturing both the 50 free and 100 breast Sean Cannon won the 100 fly and Noah Chernik won the 100 back.

Meet #1

Friar Spirit Skyrockets in First Meet of the Season!

 Here's something new:  we have a boys team State Qualifier BEFORE the Girls team leaves for States!

  • Senior Zach Towers qualified for the 100 fly in the season opener vs Kellenberg. 
  • Junior and senior leadership got the entire team swimming well and best times were hit early.
  • Sterbens, Carnevale, and Caulfield went 1,2,3 in the 50 free. 
  • Cade "C-Mac" McCormack swam an awesome 57.61 100 free. 
  • Freshmen Connor Towers and Burke Sansiviero place in the 200 free and IM and Connor Lucas rocked an awesome 100 fly. 
  • Eloery Lee hit personal best times in his 50 free and 100 breast. 

Incredible job by ALL!

 

**  CONGRATULATIONS!  **

Junior Meghan Slattery has been named to the MSG Varsity/Newsday All-Long Island Team.

 

2014 New York State Championships

Friars swim incredibly in Ithaca!

  • 9th OVERALL in New York State

  • 1st in New York State amongst Catholic Schools

  • 1st amongst Long Island High Schools

Finals

Results from Prelims

Lady Friars WIN

5th Straight Undefeated Championship!

The original forecast was supposed to be cloudy and cold.  Friday sure felt like it was going to be that way.  But I believe God is as much a Friar Fan as we all are… so of course, the sun was shining bright!  Even today, Monday after Champs, I can’t get this smile off my face and this sunshine is making it even better.

After finals I filled my truck up with all the girls Championship plaques, I started ‘er up and Coach Scott and I just sat there for a few minutes.  We were awe struck.  I couldn’t even drive away yet.  It is our tradition to reminisce about Champs on the ride home, but for now, we spent a good 3 minutes in silence.  Then finally Coach Scott had the perfect words…

Oh… My… God.

And we drove away.

Right from the start of this season, we [the coaches] loved how this team came together.  It was also one of the easiest I’ve seen the freshmen fit in.  They weren’t AS nervous as the usual.  Our veterans were ready to put in the 6am work, and the freshies matched their enthusiasm immediately.  The sacrifices that they will make can be summed up in the fact that Deijah Harris was so proud to make this elite team that she cut her gorgeous hair of intricate braids to improve as best she can.  That’s Friar dedication!

This was the first year that we ever had a dual meet before the Relay Carnival, so I was curious how the “vibe” would be.  Well, the Lady Friars never disappoint and the improvement of just three weeks of work was already showing. 

As the meets moved on, this team improved in leaps and bounds.  Swimmers at every level were improving, and even in a variety of events.  No two meet lineups were the same.  Relays were never the same.  We already had the insight that putting together this Champs lineup was going to be a challenge for us.  Right from day one, our team goal is to swim the best we can at Champs, and score the highest amount of points possible.  Last year Sacred Heart scored over 700 points.  The Mary Louis Academy, St. Francis Prep, and Our Lady of Mercy have all been improving and are looking like the best teams they’ve had in a few years.  And truth be told, we graduated a very talented class last year who scored a ton of points for the Friars.  But this team was up to the challenge of compensating for those points.  That includes swimming events out of your comfort zone and embracing those challenges.  We swam our way through the dual meets, and on to another undefeated season where our Seniors graduate with a perfect 36-0! 

The special November weekend we’ve all waited for finally arrives, AND THE FRIARS ARE READY!

… So, I gathered my team, and quietly and politely asked them… (if tying a Friar Gold rope around them, yelling with excitement till my face turns red, the veins in my forehead and neck bulge out like I’m possessed… then yes, I asked quietly and politely)   to DAZZLE ME….

And dazzle me they DID!

Many times, the tough day to swim at Champs is the first day.  Prelims.  You are circle seeded, and most times racing a clock and not a swimmer, and getting yourself into the highest heat possible is the goal.  Well, these girls absolutely set themselves up for success as they swam best times like crazy!  It became contagious, and all us Friar Fans got to witness and enjoy one heck of a Championship Weekend performance!

Nassau Aquatic Center got a nice face lift.  Thank God, a new scoreboard, and fresh coat of paint, and even where the Lady Friars sat had plenty of room for bags, places to stretch, and of course… cover the surrounding walls with our Little Sister/Big Sister posters!  The energy was already electric… and the 200 medley relay steps up to the blocks:

We didn’t have a State cut in any relays yet this year.  Not one.  So it did add to the already existing nerves.  The “pepto” tables I chew weren’t even kicking in yet… and the goosebumps began…

Kylie Danin’s amazing underwater kick starts us off.  And the breakout at the 14 yard mark was perfect.  And that’s all it took for me to know, yes, we are going to have anther “Magical” weekend!  Breaststroker Katherine Meyers’ knees were healthy, and her kick was amazing as it propelled her forward after every time we saw her take an intense breath.  Lee Ann shoots off the block, legs stretched out to a perfect toe point and rocked an awesome 50 fly and gave the Friars a commanding lead.  To expand what we are already cheering for… the fastest sprinter in the league, Friars Meghan “Slatts” Slattery explodes off the block, and just a mere 23.52 seconds later… her hand touches the wall as the Lady Friars leap into the air and cheer our first event win of Champs 2014!

Note: Our 200 medley relay went though constant changes all season long.  Even in Champs 5 swimmers all made it successful.  Danin, Santore, Caruana, Slattery first qualified the Relay for States in prelims… and Danin, Meyers, Santore, and Slattery swam it in finals, where the Friars combined effort landed them our 1st place State Qualifying Medley Relay at a 1:49.38!

 

Our 200 free had three of our veteran powerhouses, Aileen Fitzpatrick, Jillian Smerechniak, Erin Boyle, and gained the addition of a 4th powerhouse in freshman Gabby Mattutat and landed ALL FOUR in Finals! Across the league, the two distance freestyle events were loaded with talent this year.  The Friars, SHA, OLMA, and TMLA… all with great swimmers were going to have a shootout in these events this.  Our four are as tough as they come, with Jillian placing 2nd (1:58.18) Aileen 3rd , Erin Boyle 5th, and Gabby 8th, who combined gave the Friars 90 points in that ONE event!

The 200 IM became another powerhouse event for us, as the Friars added Sophomore Brittany Kudla, a talented distance swimmer, and also freshman sensation Emily Bardak to our veterans, Kylie Danin and Beth Caruana.  This combination again yielded FOUR finalists!  We cheered like crazy and I can still hear Coach Liz screaming “Brittney!” as she placed 7th with her personal best 2:20.42.  Right with her, on the other side of Kylie and Beth is our dynamic Emily Bardak who swam into 3rd place with her personal best 2:13.50.  It was all Friars as they dominated the IM with State Qualifiers Kylie Danin (1st 2:10.68) and sophomore Beth Caruana (2nd 2:12.36)!  Another HUGE scoring event!

Even right from the relay carnival, the Friars flexed their sprinting ability winning the 8-man (woman) 200 free relay.  Well, the 50 free at Champs was no different.  Celine Marino, Kayla Bianco, Sam Silva, and soccer superstar turned swimmer, Rosie Nelan all ripped up the pool and set the stage for our Friar finalists!  The consolation heat was no joke for Lauren Kryger.  Swimming in a heat filled with all 26 to low 27’s… the finishing order can change quickly, even in consols.  Handling the pressure like a seasoned veteran, Lauren touched out the rest of her heat with a beautiful 26.72 win.  Sprinter Jackie Zahn was plagued with a back injury that sidelined her for the summer, but set her up for a huge comeback opportunity.  Little by little as she improved, it was Champs where she would peak.  (just like a Friar!).  Jackie swam her way into Finals and topped it off with her awesome 26.21.

Katherine Meyers was like us gaining a whole new superstar swimmer this season.  I can’t even put into words how she raised her level of swimming talent.  I’m not only talking about how she got faster… but it is also with the level of consistency that she did it with.  Her incredible 25.51 5th place finish amongst the best in the league also opened up new opportunities for our 200 free relay (that you will read about later…. Cause you still have a ways to go!)

Get ready! 

It was now… all eyes on Slatts.

I don’t mean it was all eyes, like from the Friars.

It was ALL Eyes from the entire room.  Every swimmer, every fan in the stands no matter what color shirt of the team they represented had on; even the lifeguards and officials knew they were going to see something special as junior Meghan Slattery stepped those athletic legs up onto the block.  We anticipate the starters signal… and Slatts appears to be standing tall, because that is her stance, as she waits to hear “take your mark”.  Two and a half months of hard work by Slatts for her to improve the first 10 yards of her race.  That’s the effort that she puts in.  And it paid off… ‘cause only 10 yards into her race, Slatts was in command.  We saw that turn!  We all did.  It was what threw my hands into the air in an early celebration.  With every smooth and powerful stroke she took, it was one stroke closer to the swimming record books.  Meghan’s hand touched the wall… she was gasping for air…  we were all gasping in amazement as heads turned to the scoreboard faster than watching a Samual Groth tennis serve… because we all just witnessed the FASTEST 50 freestyle in Catholic High School History!  A CHSAA State Record 24.22!  Holy Cow… The stands stood on their feet… and the applause rang out.  The humble Meghan Slattery just smiled and congratulated her fellow competitors.  My heart races just thinking about that swim. And stay tuned Friar Fans… Slatts is just getting started!

Need to catch your breath here?  Maybe get a snack before continuing?

Whew…  I do.

The Friar energy continued into the butterfly.  Our 50 fly sprinters were just awesome.  Our forever smiling freshman, Kate McKevitt, the always positive personality and multi-talented swimmer, Bitsy Triscari, one of our most improved swimmers, Danielle McCabe, and (Cassie Gharnit’s and Caroline Hughes’ new swimming lane BFF), the technically amazing Sydney Bernhardt, were all just incredible. 

As I aforementioned, this was a year where the Lady Friars just stepped it up, and faced new challenges.  A big one to mention was Morgan Graning.  Her team needed her in the 100 fly, and she gave her best performance of the season right here at Champs.  She swam her first 50 like a well seasoned veteran out in a 30.5!  As I watch her rip up the pool… I gave Coach Scott a glance, who in return gave me a nod of his head, as he is always gives me his seal of approval of a great butterfly swim.  Morgan swam to an awesome 11th place finish overall!  Morgan’s success propelled us into the final heat where we had three more Friars.  Lauren Kryger was rock solid as she always is as fly is such a strong event for her.  Lauren swam an awesome 1:04.44 8th place overall finish.  Emily Bardak smiled through her nerves as she prepared for her fly event.  We were all pulling for her.  After that incredible 200 IM, we knew we were in for another treat.  She was as powerful as ever!  When she hit that touch pad I could hear the cheers from behind me, as well as the cheers from her friends and family that filled the stands.  (Shout out to the LoNigro’s and the Rocky Point crew!) Emily did it… a State Qualifying 59.30!  This year’s butterfly Champion, Lee Ann Santore, worked her butt off for four years for this moment of glory.  No joke.  I’m not going to say that Lee Ann is a natural swimmer.  I can say with all seriousness that she has worked and earned every bit of swimming talent and success that she has.  Every year, a little stronger.  Every year, a little faster.  And here as a Senior, her final butterfly at Champs, was another magical moment for the Friars.  Pure determination filled her entire body as she used that improved kickout and drove herself to a State Qualifying, 59.27 1st place Champion swim!

The next two events of Champs were two of the biggest as the league is filled with great freestylers this year.  We began with freshman Kate McKevitt and (the quiet but not so quiet) Charlotte “Char-vine” Vine both swimming a pair of 1:09’s.  Devon “Dev-O” Connolly had a great year swimming multiple events, and gave us a beautiful 1:05.22.  It was a pleasure to watch the development of Leanne Daly this season.  She is an incredible athlete who improved every time she hit the water.  We all celebrated her personal best 1:05.93 100 freestyle!

The 100 free was a little bit of a challenge for Jackie Zahn this year, but she fed off the success of her 50 free and swam successfully again in Finals to a proud season best 58.81.  A swim that had us both smiling!

I am such a fan of freshman Gabby Mattutat.  I find her to be almost mystifying.  Always light-spirited, constantly laughing out loud, and yet when she gets up on the block, then hits the water… she is so incredibly strong and serious.  She is an amazing consistent competitor with such a bright future for the Friars.  Her 7th place overall 56.34 was a great cap of a great season.  Erin Boyle is one of the top freestylers we’ve ever had.  And her strength is Championship meets.  When it’s time to go…  Erin GO’S!  So strong and smooth…  I don’t think she even understands her own potential yet.  Erin’s best years are still right in front of her.  Her 54.71 100 freestyle earned her a 5th place finish among the best there is. 

I won’t even sugar coat it.  To say the anticipation of Meghan Slattery’s swim was mesmerizing is an understatement.  People elbowed the person standing next to them to make sure they didn’t miss anything.  Goosebumps began to form and the race didn’t even begin yet!  There was only one calm, cool, and focused person in the room, and she was stepping on block number 5. 

“Take your mark…”

I watched Slatts cut through the water.  I glanced at my watch, back to her swim, back to the scoreboard, back to her swim…

I don’t really know if jumping my uncoordinated body up and down on a slick wet surface of a pool deck is actually safe… but I couldn’t help it.  Slatts just swam a monumental 51.75!  The cheering was just breathtaking.  I gave a big finger point across the pool to Meghan’s club coach, Coach Marc, as a salute to his hard work as he too is jumping in the air. (literally.  And way up in the stands is probably not too safe to do either…  haha).  Congratulations to Meghan Slattery on her new State Qualifying, St. Anthony’s High School Record! 

What an event the 500 free was this year.  Four different schools all had top swimmers.  And for me, where the 500 is one of my favorite events, it’s rare that you get to see so many talented swimmers going head to head.  We needed to go as deep into our roster as possible to give us our best chance to outscore the other schools.  We picked up 18 seconds as we [the coaches] moved Mary Tonna from the 100 free to the 500.  The 100 free is her comfort zone.  She enjoys that event as she has already had such success swimming it.  But the prestigious move from a timed final event to a scored Trial/Final event is the result of  hard work the confidence that we have in Mary Tonna.  As it turns out, we nailed it.  Mary embraced the challenge of the event and had tremendous success as she swam her way into finals!  She came out smiling as she dropped another 6 seconds off her personal best and finished 8th overall with a 5:39.03 swim!  Brittney Kudla also had a successful season swimming in multiple events.  After the success in the 200 IM, she dropped another 7 seconds in the 500!  Brittney finished 5:39.94 and in 9th place overall.  Jillian Smerechniak has put in a ton of work all season long.  She’s extremely focused and knows in order to get better at the 500, you have to keep swimming it.  Due to all the hard work, she kept improving, and put together her best race at Champs.  Racing against the best, Jillian pushed herself to a State Qualifying 5:13.82!  Our senior and distance veteran, Aileen Fitzpatrick, is as tough a swimmer as you can find.  As the 500 goes on… Aileen just gets better and better, and her pace time keep dropping.  Never faltering, she pounded out the yards with the top in the league and gave the Lady Friars their top finishing 5th place with an awesome 5:17.14 swim!  Our four distance swimmers combined for 78 total points, and DID outscore all the other teams.  Mission accomplished!

What a thrill our 200 Freestyle Relay was!  Setting the stage… we had a great prelims swim, did come out as the top seed for Finals, but still a good 1.5 seconds off the State cut.  We discussed the situation our relay was in… either:  1:  Make the State cut.       Or, 2:   Win the relay, and have it go to a “paper meet” with the Buffalo area if they also don’t make the cut. 

Tension was building.  It was the last chance to make it happen. 

We changed the order:   With her success in the 50 free, Katherine Meyers was to lead off followed by Beth Caruana, Lee Ann Santore, and anchoring with our best, Erin Boyle.  To get to States… all four girls need to average a 25.4 or BETTER.  That’s how tough that cut is.  Now read closely… and check this out!

Katherine Meyers has a sick start… and puts up a personal best 25.38.  Beth Caruana can sprint with the best of ‘em, and splits a 25.71.  Still possible!  Lee Ann Santore uses her strength, that awesome underwater dolphin kick, and hits the average right on the button with her 25.40 split!  The change we made was moving Erin Boyle to the anchor.  We needed someone to hang in there with the top sprinters and bring it home.  Closing the gap in front of her, Erin is chasing ‘em down… but we are in 2nd place.  No one is watching the clock… they are watching us run out of pool.  Erin puts up an amazing 24.91 Split!  Holy Cow!  Can you believe it?  The relay goes a State Qualifying 1:41.40!  They made it!  We are screaming… celebrating… we coaches are hugging each other in jubilation!  Then we look over at our relay girls.  Long faces.  Slumped posture, and just sliding into the warm down lanes.  I take the walk over to them… and lean over the edge of the pool.

“Hey, girls; did you know you made the cut?”

Katherine Meyers response:   “What cut”?  

Haha.  I cracked up. One by one, the reaction as they realized that they in fact qualified the relay for States was one of the most memorable moments of the meet!

Backstroke.   We are Stacked with backstrokers!  Probably the deepest event for us that there is.  I mean, even in the 50 backstroke event, we had Leanne Daly (Personal best time 36.54), Katie Rogers (personal best 36.23), Devon Connolly (personal best 36.21) and Sydney Bernhardt (personal best 35.06).

**  you did notice all four swam their absolute best  **

Of the top 6 spots in that event, those amazing Friars filled four of them!

The 100 back was one of the special moments of the meet for me.  With the prelims that we just had the night before, this was another magical event where all four Lady Friars qualified for Finals.  As my heart was racing with adrenaline for Kylie Danin and Beth Caruana, two of the top backstrokes that the Friars, or the league for that matter, has ever had… my heart was also filled with such joy that Ashley Jiran and Caroline Hughes were right there with them.  I’m not going to lie.  I was a little emotional looking out at the four of them.  I glanced at Loretta Jiran, who I had taking as many pictures of the team as she possibly could, had trouble focusing because the tears were flowing down her face.  Coach Liz looked over at Loretta… Yup.  Here come more tears.  Not one backstroker has even entered the water yet, and yes, it was a special Friar moment already.

The race itself was as exciting as anticipated… Kylie Danin, with that awesome first half, and Beth Caruana, the second half swimmer with that “hyper space” forth lap… race to the wall, so close we need the scoreboard to see the two teammates smashing the State cut with Beth in first with a 57.41, and Kylie with her personal best 57.97!  What a memorable Friar moment!  In addition to those two monumental swims… were my emotional swims of Ashley and Caroline.  I can put those two seniors in a group of  Lady Friars who have truly put their heart into this team.  I couldn’t have cheered any louder for them!  Ashley with her 4th place overall finish and Friar career best 1:03.86, and “Sweet, Caroline” (see what I did there?  Haha) who swam a 1:09.05, and placed 7th!

Whew…   moving on.

The breaststroke also yielded as many surprises as the rest of the events!

In the 50, Charlotte Vine swam as smooth and beautiful as Meghan Boyle can dance across a stage!  Just gorgeous.   Senior and Captain, Cassie Gharnit, deserves so much credit.  Her interminable positive energy was so contagious throughout her Friar career that led to her being the leader that she it.  And to top it all off… she put together one heck of a breaststroke career!  Bitsy Triscari, the versatile swimmer who can swim about anything… also swam an awesome breaststroke.  And topping off the 50 breaststroke, and the winner of the event… was Nicole Pikulik, who qualified for States in Track!  Swimmer, AND runner… what an awesome Friar athlete!

The next treat for us Friar Fans, was seeing Mary Bermudez in the Trial/Final 100 breast.  And, she did an outstanding job swimming in Sunday’s finals with her personal best 1:24.67!  As soon as the season started, one of our more goal oriented swimmers was Devin “Dev-i” Gilio.  Her long term goal is making States, but her short term goal was making it to the Final heat on Sunday.  Well, the harder she worked, the more focused she was; the more she improved.  Dev-i finished her season in 8th overall… YES, in Finals, and with her personal best 1:14.87!  Senior Lee Ann Santore put together her biggest, and Best, Champs of her career.  Success in the medley relay, success in the fly, success in the 200 free relay, and success in the 100 breast.  ** And, I’m not going to fail to mention, that Lee Ann is one if the top divers in the boys league, AND… is a two year Captain of the Friars Diving Team.  She has been an invaluable part of this Friar Family tradition. 

I am a fan of Katherine Meyers.  Seeing her competitive spirit blossom even motivated me.  She peaked her season perfectly, right at Champs, and her 1:09.49 2nd place 100 breaststroke was just icing on the cake of her incredible weekend.

Coach Scott doesn’t call it “The Granddaddy” for nothing!  The grand finale of relays… the 400 free relay is the relay for us swimming adrenaline junkies.  The excitement as each Friar puts up those awesome splits is just electrifying.  With Junior Meghan Slattery leading off, we move out in front and never turn back.  Freshman Emily Bardak is just lightning.  Junior Erin Boyle stretches out the Friar lead, and our senior Captain Kylie Danin brings it home and it is her hand that puts the Friars into the record books with their 5th Straight Undefeated Championship!  Kylie put the cap on all those amazing performances that totaled 847 Championship Points!  And the plaques began to pile up…  1st place Undefeated Dual Meet Season Champions, with Meghan Slattery’s double winning individual events and the CHSAA record in the 50 free, she was awarded “MVP Swimmer of the Meet” by the coaches of the league, and of course, the coveted Huge, Round, Magnificent Championship Plaque that took 75 days of hard work to earn!  The picture in Newsday of Captains Ashley Jiran, Cassie Gharnit, and Kylie Danin said it all…  how we are Proud to Be Friars!

**  States edit:

Normally, I edit States into the Champs review, but this was such a unique year, I’m keeping it separate.

States is one of the most physically exhausting and challenging meets there is.  This year was no different, and the way our 8 Friar teammates handled themselves was just awe-inspiring for me.  I shake my head, and my jaw hangs open as I watch these elite athletes completely exhaust themselves and accomplish success that very few will ever even attain in their lifetime.

Our 200 Medley Relay (I believe our 5th straight year) was again swimming in Finals.  Kylie Danin, Kat Meyers, Lee Ann Santore, and Meghan Slattery were awarded 9th place (in NYS) medals.  The 200 IM was swum by Kylie Danin and Beth Caruana.  Meghan Slattery was our high point winner as she swam in Finals in BOTH the 50 free (8th in NYS with a 24.22) and the 100 free (4th in NYS with a 52.17).  Note:  Slatts will actually swim “a 52” Four Times in this meet!

The 100 fly was swum by Senior Lee Ann Santore and freshman Emily Bardak, who both made it back to finals.  Our 200 free relay was swam by Katherine Meyers, Beth Caruana, Lee Ann Santore, and Erin Boyle.

Our 100 back was a roller coaster of an event.  Our two amazing backstrokers, Beth Caruana and Kylie Danin both swam to a Tie in prelims!  That’s right, an amazing 57.85 for both of them.  The celebration quickly became a harsh reality as they both were in 10th place requiring a swim off following the 400 free relay. 

Here is where being part of a family, being a teammate, and why being called a Friar is so special.  How these ladies handle themselves at times like this is beyond commendable.

As these two elite athletes and teammates prepare to swim… for the 3rd time in our State team history, we called on our relay alternate.  Kylie Danin’s anchor spot was swum by sophomore Jillian Smerechniak.  Our State alternate’s job is to warm up and prepare just as if they are swimming the event, and sit with cap and goggles in hand until the relay goes off the block.  To Jillian’s credit, she did exactly that, and minutes (I’m not kidding… it was minutes) before the relay was to go off she was with her teammates behind the block, and ready to take on States!

The relay swam incredible.  Slatts with another 52…  (52.90!), Emily Bardak with a 54.56 (WHAT!), Erin Boyle with a 55.90 (yeah baby) and ready for this…  our own Jillian Smerechniak with a 55.99 anchor swim!

As for our swim-off… I wish I had the perfect words to describe these two ladies.  The swim was just incredible.  Both Friars with such determination… and both going 57’s blew me away.  Beth with a 57.22, and Kylie with a 57.70 placed them 10th and 11th.  But beyond those personal best swims… how they handled themselves was so commendable.  I am so proud of you both!

Finals for our relay…  

It was two L O N G….  days.  The Lady Friars were exhausted.  But we are down to the final race.   The Granddaddy.  I pull the relay team aside.   I look into their eyes and ask them for one more.  This Friar Team swam SO WELL in Ithaca that we just needed one more dazzling moment to cap off this entire season.  I tell my team is time to empty the tank.  Leave it all in the pool waters of Ithaca.

Slatts steps on the block… and with her signature powerful stroke, splits a 52.84 (yep, a 52).  We are swimming with the best, but Slatts gives us a small lead.  Emily said she was nervous… but boy her swim didn’t look like it.  The powerhouse freshman motors through the water, and keeps the Friar lead and splits…  ready?...  a 54.59!  In the words of Coach Scott, “oh my God”!  Erin Boyle hits her best start of the season, and what a time for it.  Through each turn, she stretched that lead from half a body length… to about a full body.  The perfect set-up for our anchor.  She’s our senior.  In every practice she’s been our leader.  Never sacrificing or surrendering a single lap to less than 100% effort.  And now it’s her time to bring it all home.  Through the first 50, the lead remained the same.  Through the second 50, Kylie was putting her mark on her Friar career and pulling away.  She split a 54.16, and the relay won the heat with a season best 3:37.23!  

What a TEAM!

 

Through it all… all the 5am alarms, the 6am cold water pool entries, the hard work and sacrifices… every one of these Lady Friars can proudly say for the rest of their lives:

They are Champions.  5 Years Undefeated.  The number ONE Catholic School in NY State.  Number 9 overall in the Federation.  And Number ONE on all of Long Island! 

And We Are Friars!

 

Special thanks to all my fellow coaches, Liz, Annie and Scott.  My dearest friends who I love to share my time with. 

A Special Shout Out to Friar Taylor Sforza, who was dying to swim in this meet, but was unable due to a concussion and injury.  Your cheers were just a part of this Championship as your swimming would have been!

To all the Friar Parents:  without you, there is no Friar Swim Team.  Thanks for all the continued support.

To our team moderator, Mrs. Fahey, who drives the team to school,

And to anyone who is a Friar Fan and part of this Friar Swimming Family, THANK YOU!

 

Your proud coach,

Coach Dan

GO FRIARS!

 

The 2014 NYSCHSAA Animal Game Champion is Monica Stefandl of TMLA.

Congratulations Monica!

We have a Two-time Champ....

 Meghan Slattery reigns as the Two​-​Time Paper Airplane Flying State Champion held at the Country Inn and Suites in Ithaca, NY!

Her swimming streamlining techniques are what helped her refine her paper folding skills.  That, combined with her winning Friar competitiveness have propelled her to the top of the paper airplane flying art.  Congratulations Slatts!

 

 

Friars capture CHSAA crown.

Newsday Article

Friars Named "Long Island Big 10"

Coach Dan McBride was named NSCHSAA Coach of the Year and Junior Meghan Slattery won the meet's MVP Award.
Slattery led the Friars by winning both the 50 & 100 freestyle events and setting a new Catholic State record the 50 Free. 

Kylie Danin won the 200 IM for the 3rd time in her illustrious career as a Friar.
Lee Ann Santore captured GOLD in the 100 Fly.
Beth Caruana garnered GOLD in the 100 Back.
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State Qualifiers

200 IM Kylie Danin & Beth Caruana

50 Free AND 100 free Meghan Slattery

100 Fly Emily Bardak & Lee Ann Santore

500 Free Jillian Smerechniak

100 Back Beth Caruana & Kylie Danin

 

Best of Luck to Friar Nicole Pikulik who is competing at States in Cross Country today.

 

St. Anthony’s Men’s Swim Team 2014-15

This was an extremely talented group trying out for the Boys Varsity Swim/Diving Team. 

Uniform Order Form

The following have made the team for the 2014-15 season. 

* ALL DIVERS REPORT TO PRACTICE

Freshmen

Rory Hughes

Connor Lucas

Fred Rupmarian

Burke Sansiviero

Connor Towers

Sophomores

CJ Arena

Gavin Boyd

Daniel Cellamare

Jake Krotz

Arya Mahabadi

Conor Rutigliano

Mike Mao Sung Yang

John Sterbens

Juniors

Kyle Barry

Sean Cannon

John Carnevale

Noah Chernik

Joe Fouad

Tyler Meyers

Austin Nguyen

Brendan Ryan

Seniors

Michael Caulfield

Ben Howard

Eloery Lee

Armin Mahabadi

Sean McShane

Maddie Ruocco

LeeAnn Santore

Zach Towers

Brian Wendland

Brian Wendt

 

Meet Summaries


Meet #8

Undefeated!​

Congratulations to the Friars as they defeated Sacred Heart in their final dual meet to remain undefeated for their FIFTH straight season!

This meet was an entire team effort.  From top to bottom, the Lady Friars stepped-up and swam their best of the season. 

Come cheer on this Amazing Team at Champs on November 8th and 9th!

Get ready for Champs!


Meet #7

It was another successful Breast Cancer Awareness Meet!

The Friars were joined by St. Dom's and St. Mary's for their 7th annual Breast Cancer Meet.  There were tons of laughs and exciting races swam by both the Pink and Purple teams.  

Well, Bitsy Triscari predicted it before the meet even began...  and it is my pleasure to Congratulate the Purple team on their first ever win!  (Great job Coach Liz and Coach Scott!  haha,  you both now have bragging rights). 

But more than the fun, the three teams collected $218 dollars for our Breast Cancer Donation this year!   FANTASTIC JOB!

**  Special Thanks to Loretta Jiran and everyone who helped her run the donation table all season!  Your dedication and support are priceless.

Meet #6

The Lady Friars are looking more ready for Champs every day with a win over KMHS.

With a very different lineup, the Friars performed with excellence.  The meet started off with Caroline Hughes giving one of my favorite performances of the season as she swims back to back events, and swims to a huge 200 freestyle win!  Katherine Meyers swam a beautiful 200 IM first place finish.  Jillian Smerechniak won the 500 free, and it was awesome to see Mary Bermudez with a big 100 Breaststroke win!

Record 6-0

Meet #5

The Friars were electric as team spirit hits a season high with a big win over TMLA

The cheers were heard early as Danin, Santore, Caruana, and Slattery turn in the best 200 medley relay of the season thus far.  Aileen Fitzpatrick was in top form as she swam to two first place finishes in our 200 and 500 free events.  Caruana, Bardak, and Smerechniak finished a big 1-2-3 respectively in the 200 IM.  Meghan Slattery swam a State Qualifying 50 free for the second time this season.  Lee Ann Santore and Emily Bardak both with a perfect "touch out" finish in the 100 Fly.  And Beth Caruana also swam a repeat State Qualifying time in the 100 back.  This was our best performance of the season yet...  but better things are soon to come!  Let's Go Friars

Record 5-0

Meet #4

The Lady Friars continue their streak with a win at home over OLMA

Awesome first place swims were turned in by:

Jillian Smerechniak, Beth Caruana, Erin Boyle, Lee Ann Santore, Kylie Danin, Emily Bardak, and Meghan Slattery

Great Job by all!

Record 4-0!

Meet #3

 Crowd at Queens College erupts with cheers as Friars win 3rd meet of the season

 Beth Caruana and Meghan Slattery lead the Friars in an exciting Win as the both qualify for States!  Slatts swam a blistering 53.89 in the 100 free, and Beth used that strong final lap of hers with a state qualifying 1:00.22 in the 100 back. 

Freshman Emily Bardak dug deep with an awesome 200 IM win, that was followed by Gabby Mattutat and Mary Tonna as the Friars went 1,2,3.

Meghan Boyle, Leanne Daly, and Deijah Harris all went best times in the 50 free that sparked cheering from the Friars.

Jillian Smerechniak had a beautiful touch-out win the 50 Free.  Kylie Danin, LeeAnn Santore, and Emily Bardak all looked incredibly strong in the 100 fly.  Aileen Fitzpatrick had an awesome second half in the 500 free.  Katherine Meyers had a commanding win in the 100 breast, and was backed by a beautiful best time swim by Taylor Sforza.

 Next meet for the Friars... this Saturday at 6:30 PM at our home pool, Half Hollow Hills.

Come support the Friars!

Meet #2

 Friars show off a little swimming muscle in 2nd Win of the season!

All the following swam to a Win in their respective events:

Meghan "Slatts" Slattery, LeeAnn Santore, Beth Caruana, Kylie Danin, Gabby Mattutat, Aileen Fitzpatrick, Nicole Pikulik, Taylor Sforza, Ashley Jiran, Charlotte Vine, Kate McKevitt.

Congratulations to Senior Katie Rogers who has committed to Scranton!

Meet #1

Kylie Danin and Meghan "Slatts" Slattery lead the Lady Friars as they BOTH qualify for States in the Friars first meet of the season!

 What an awesome first meet for the Lady Friars.  Freshman Emily Bardak and Sophomore Jillian Smerechniak swam a great race in the 200 IM.  That was followed by Slatts swimming an incredible 24.46 (just a mere .06 off the school record) and qualifying for States in her first swim of the season.  Senior Kylie Danin also looked in top form as she too qualified for States in her first 100 back (1:00.23).  Kat Meyers swam an amazing 1:09 in the 100 breast that had the entire place cheering!

Our coaches are already pleased seeing the progress this team has made in just it's first few weeks.  We are already looking forward to that special weekend in November!

 

Congratulations!

 

Friar Meghan Slattery was accepted to the 2013-2014 USA Swimming Scholastic All-America Team!

Meghan was accepted on her academic achievement (number one in her class) and her times in the 50 and 100 freestyle.

 

Welcome back Brother Etienne!

That's right... Brother Etienne, who started the swim teams at St. Anthony's in 1984, will be the Boys Team Moderator.

We are very happy to have you aboard (again).

And a special Thank You to Dr. Mark Capodanno for all his years of service and enthusiasm to both the boys and girls teams.  Forever a Friar Doc!

 

St. Anthony’s Women’s Swim Team 2014

We always have a talented group trying out for the Girls Varsity Swim 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 2014 season. 

Please come to practice on Thurs. with your completed uniform order.  Click here

Freshmen

Emily Bardak

Sydney Bernhardt

Deijah Harris

Celine Marino

Gabriella Mattutat

Katelyn McKevitt

Sophomores

Meghan Boyle

Beth Ann Carvana

Devon Connolly

Leanne Daly

Devin Gilio

Brittney Kudla

Lauren Kryger

Danielle McCabe

Katherine Meyers

Samantha Silva

Jillian Smerechniak

Mary Tonna

Juniors

Mary Bermudez

Erin Boyle

Morgan Graning

Nicole Pikulik

Taylor Sforza

Meghan Slattery

Elizabeth Triscari

Charlotte Vine

Jacqueline Zahn

Seniors

Kayla Bianco

Kylie Danin

Aileen Fitzpatrick

Cassandra Gharnit

Caroline Hughes

Ashley Jiran

Rosanne Nelan

Katie Rogers

LeeAnn Santore

 

Girls Swim Team Information for NEW Swimmers & Divers

 Blue Cards:

“Blue Cards” are picked up in the AD’s (Athletic Director, Mr. Donal Buckley) Office.  The Blue Card, proof of current physical, and insurance money ($20) are brought to the Nurses’ Office.  Once approved, the nurse then stamps the blue card, which is then brought back to the AD’s Office and the athlete is put on the “Cleared to Participate” list for swimming.

 Tryouts:

Tryouts this year for all NEW swimmers will be held on Tues. Sept. 3rd at 6 AM at Half Hollow Hills Natatorium.

Half Hollow Hills Natatorium is 1/2 mile East of St. Anthony's on Wolf Hill Road

 Practice:

Practices are held every Tues. and Thurs. mornings from 6-7 am at Half Hollow Hills Natatorium (our “home” pool).  The swimmers are then bussed to St. Anthony’s for school.

 Meets:

Our season consists of approx. 7-8 dual meets vs. other Catholic Schools in the NSCHSGAA League.  Our “home” meets are held on Sat. evenings.  We also have one non-league meet in Jan. (boys and girls teams) vs. Paul VI which is a travel meet every other year.  This year will be a Travel meet.

Champs:

“Champs” is a two day Trial/Final pre-seeded meet.  It is mandatory to attend this meet whether you are swimming in the meet or not.  For more info on Champs:  please see the article in the “Coaches Corner” of our website.  www.FriarSwimming.com

States:

Qualifying times are posted on our web site.  Please click on the “cut times” button.  States this year will be held in Ithaca.

Web Site:

Our team web site is:   www.FriarSwimming.com

General Info:

We are one Varsity team consisting of all grades 9-12.

Nurse’s Summer Hours:

TBA

Tryouts for all CURRENT Girls Varsity Swimmers:

Your tryouts will be held on: Tuesday, August 27th at 6:00 am (regular time)

You MUST be cleared to swim!  NO exceptions!

All swimmers & divers must be cleared with the AD's office in order to tryout.  

BLUE Cards must be turned in.  NO Exceptions!