Bonnie Swimmers Make History At Dual Meet
The Fontbonne Bonnie swimmers have made their mark in team history. The Bonnies came out on top at their last two meets of the season, successfully defeating St. Joseph by the Sea and St. Joseph Hill of Staten Island.
They finished their dual meet season this past Sunday with an 8-2 record, placing them third overall in the league representing Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island. This is the first time the Bonnies have ever held this standing in the 40 years of Fontbonne swimming.
"It is difficult to put into words how I feel; I am elated," said coach Joseph Verponi, who started the Fontbonne squad 40 years ago.
"I talked with our girls many times over these last two weeks. Not only did I want them to achieve this for themselves, but also for the 16 girls who didn't know much about swimming but started this team back in 1969."
Fontbonne's wins came with some work. "The strength of our relay teams was a major factor in both of these wins," said Head Coach Laura Shea Delin. Team Captain Michelle Powers, Alexa Morrissey, Jennifer Keim and Elaina Anastasio all had individual wins for the Bonnies, which helped defeat St. Joseph by the Sea, 91-77.
The squad walked into their final meet of the season holding the same record as the Hilltoppers from St. Joseph Hill. "We have always been competitive with Hill, but third place has never been on the line the last meet of the season," said Delin. "I told our girls early on, that it was going to come down to the relays, and that the meet would be determined in the last race.
For every member of our team, there was a member of Hill who matched them - for some it would come down to a difference of a fingernail."
The Bonnie squad took the lead in the first event with first and third finishes that set the tone for the remainder of the meet.
As the first individual race, the 200 freestyle, finished its first lap, the Bonnie squad saw what their coach was talking about days before.
The meet was so close throughout with the point spread going up and down from 6 points to a one point difference.
Many Bonnies hit their personal best times of the season, especially Alexa Morrissey in the 200-yard IM, Olivia O'Hara and Lindsey Allocco in the 100-yard Breaststroke, and Michelle Boulbol in the 100-yard Butterfly.
With all the Bonnies' efforts throughout, it came down to the last event - the 400-yard Freestyle relay. "We were told that we needed second and third to win.
It was the first time that I needed to put these relays together and I knew they would have a good chance," said Delin.
The crowd at St. Francis College erupted in cheers as the Bonnies came in second, third, and fourth to capture the win by one point with a final score of 85.5 to 84.5.
They took the lead in the first event and never let go for the rest of the meet. The Bonnies are looking ahead to the City Individual Championships in two weeks.