Girls Varsity Swimming
Game Summaries & Headlines.
The 2021 Girls Varsity Swimming season was met with high expectations this season. After completing an impressive 8-1 regular season, the Friars showed that getting the Nassau Suffolk Catholic High School Athletic Association (NSCHSAA) title back to our pool was their first order of business. The Friars boast eight consecutive league titles, with twelve seniors, many of whom have experienced the joy of owning that title as freshmen and sophomores.
The Friars swim team is full of great traditions and family values, and Head Coach Dan McBride’s message this year has been “to fight as best as they can”. Coach McBride talked about his expectations for this season, “This year’s realistic expectations are to hold the current champions Sacred Heart to the least amount of points possible. The Friars want to hold on to second place in the league and hold off the threat of The Mary Louis Academy, who was missing 4 swimmers at our dual meet, and Kellenberg, who has a young, talented team that surprised the league this year, with great dual meet performances”. Coach McBride believes his team is deeper than the others. Both Coach McBride and McKenna expect the team to have their best swims of the season to help them win the Catholic High School League Championship, on Nov. 7th, at the Eisenhower Aquatic Center.
Junior Mary McKenna’s personal goal is to qualify as an All-American in the 500 freestyle. She also hopes to break the CHS league record she set in 2019 in the 200 IM with a time of 2:05.68. As the Friar’s top swimmer, she knows what hard work can achieve, making it to the NYSPHSAA State meet, and owning school records in the 200 individual medley and the 500 freestyle. She is also a member of the record-setting 400 freestyle relay team. She qualified in both the 200 IM, with a time of 2:05.82 and the 500 Free, with a time of 4:54.89. This led to her advancing to the NY State Public High School meet on Nov. 19th in Ithaca, NY.
McKenna looked back on her three seasons and reflected on the most challenging parts. “Over the last three seasons, the most challenging part has been overcoming our Covid restrictions which limited team practices, gatherings, and spectators,” said McKenna. The ladies swim team thrives on team spirit, according to McKenna. They rally together to support each other, which helps them swim their best.
The team finished second at the 2021 NSCHSGAA Championship meet. The girls placed 3rd in the 200 yd-medley relays, with swimmers Arabella Pompay, Elena Cunneen, Olivia Glaser, and Erin Johannsen. Three swimmers were in the top 10 for the 200 yd freestyle. Four swimmers placed in the top 10 for the 100 yd butterfly. In the 200 yd-IM, Mary McKenna placed first and qualified for States. Senior Erin Johannsen placed third in the 50 yd freestyle. In the 100 yd freestyle, the team had three swimmers place in the top 10. In the 500 yd freestyle, Mary McKenna placed 2nd and qualified for states. Three other swimmers also placed in the top 10. The team placed 2nd in the 200 yd freestyle relay. Three girls placed in the top 10 for the 100 yd backstroke. Senior Elena Cunneen placed fourth in the 100 yd breaststroke. The final event the team competed in was the 400 yd freestyle relay, where they placed 2nd, totaling 732 points for the meet.
Although they did not win the 2021 league championship, The Girl’s Varsity Swim Team dedicated countless hours of hard work, exceeding Coach McBride’s expectations. They placed second at the NYSPHSAA meet and Mary McKenna swam 2:06.77 in the 200 IM and 4:52.67 in the 500 Free. The Friars are looking ahead to next season and the opportunity to reclaim the league title.
By: Araceli Ponce is a junior at Saint Anthony’s High School, writing for her third year at Friar Scoreboard. She is also a member of Saint Anthony’s softball and track teams. In the future, she plans to have a career in the field of sports or architecture.