S.T.O.R.M. Ties For First In CYO Championships!
By Tricia Sheehan
On Saturday, January 26, 2002, at the CYO Boys Swimming Championships, the boys of S.T.O.R.M. pulled out all the stops to tie L.I.A.M. for first place. In a competition called one of the finest and closest in years, by Joe Hogan who heads up the Boys CYO Swimming, S.T.O.R.M. realized their dream of being the championship swim team. Tied with 308 points each, both teams were exuberant over the results. Just one point separated these champs from the third place team K.E.V.A.N., which scored 307 points! None of the coaches was certain of the outcome until it was announced, which only added to the excitement and expectation for all. The anticipation on the pool deck was matched only by the speculations of family and friends in the stands.
S.T.O.R.M. is a special team, comprised as they are of boys from four parishes: St. Thomas Aquinas, Marine Park; Our Lady Help of Christians, Midwood; Resurrection, Gerritsen Beach and St. Thomas More, Breezy Point. These parishes came together to form this team so that their boys could swim, as none had enough swimmers to make up a team. In the nine years they have been together, they have come in just about every place but first.
The team has S.T.O.R.M.ed their division this year with an unprecedented season. They were undefeated in the regular season with a record of 6-0. Due to this, they automatically qualified for one of the six spots in the Diocesan Championships. In Crossover Playoffs they lost just one meet, to L.I.A.M. (Our Lady of Lourdes, Queens Village, Incarnation, Bellair, American Martyrs, Bayside; and Holy Family, Flushing).
In addition to a great season and championship meet, the S.T.O.R.M. boys cleaned up at the CYO Olympics held on January 12th at Nassau Community College. At the Olympics, the boys will swim for individual medals. Unlike the championship where teams compete, each swimmer competes for individual honors against swimmers from every team. The swimmers of S.T.O.R.M. earned 19 medals!
Many of the seniors, who are now in high school and swim for their high school teams, returned for their final year with S.T.O.R.M., even though this meant scheduling in another activity in addition to their studies and high school sports. The team and coaches applaud them for the extra effort. These boys know the true meaning of the word team and they exemplify it. St. Thomas More senior Ryan Sheehan participated in the "Senior Walk" ceremony at the Olympics, where he also earned a Silver Medal in the 50-yard Backstroke event. Ryan is a freshman at Xaverian High School, where he has earned a spot on the JV and Varsity swim teams.
Under the dedicated guidance of Coach Mike Manza, S.T.O.R.M. has shown how hard work, cooperation and the acceptance of all children with a desire to swim can produce champions! Mike has had three sons on the team, this being the final year on the team for his youngest son, James Manza, a freshman at Xaverian High School, who has already made the JV and Varsity swim teams there. Coach Mike Davitt felt certain these hardworking and dedicated boys could go all the way this season. His son, Michael, also a freshman at Xaverian, was swimming his final year for S.T.O.R.M. In fact, on the first night of practice, the Seniors told one of the coaches, Clare Sweeney, that they had every intention of being the Championship Team this year. They were as good as their word.
In addition to those named above, the team wishes to thank: Lauralee Maloney, Mike Savage, Paul Bruder, Mark Ferro, Chris Stokes and Tricia Sheehan from St. Thomas More. A special thanks goes to Katie Marshall and Pat Sadowski, who although their sons are long gone from the team, have remained steadfast in both support and assistance. Lauralee Maloney has gladly stepped forward to take a very active part in the overall coordination of the team and her efforts are greatly appreciated. Thanks to Bob Kimmeth for taking the team pictures this year.
S.T.O.R.M. considers every swimmer a valuable asset to the team and all of their efforts and those of their parents are very much appreciated. Great going guys, you have a lot to be proud of! Congratulations one and all!
The following boys from St. Thomas More are a part of this great team:
S.T.O.R.M. earned medals in the following events at the Olympics:
Bantam 100 yd. Medley Relay 2nd Silver
Junior 100 yd. Medley Relay 8th Medallist
Senior 100 yd. Medley Relay 2nd Silver
Novice 100 yd. Free Relay 3rd Bronze
Bantam 100 yd. Free Relay 2nd Silver
Junior 100 yd Free Relay 3rd Bronze
Senior 200 yd Free Relay 3rd Bronze
Novice 25 yd Free 2nd Silver- Zack Camerzell
Novice 25 yd. Back 4th Medallist- Kevin Logar
Novice 25 yd Back 10th Medallist- Mike Anttanaros
Bantam 25 yd Free 8th Medallist- Daniel Savage
Junior 50 yd Free 10th Medallist- Justin Heslop
Junior 50 Back 2nd Silver- Thomas Maloney
Junior 25 yd Butterfly 5th Medallist- Justin Liu
Junior 25 yd Butterfly 6th Medallist- D. Mackenzie
Senior 100 yd Free 5th Medallist- Harold Prigge
Senior 50 yd Back 2nd Silver- Ryan Sheehan
Senior 50 yd Back 7th Medallist- Jesse Gregory
Senior 100 yd IM3rd Bronze- Peter Camerzell