VARSITY 2015-2016

3/5/16- NYS Federation CHAMPIONSHIPS

Over the weekend, the AquaRams travelled to Buffalo NY to compete in the New York State Swimming and Diving Federation Championships. For two days, the meet was filled with the best competition of high school swimming and diving in the state of New York and similar to past years, the Fordham Prep swimming team did not disappoint as they captured an impressive 2nd place finish overall just 12 points from 1st place!

Spencer Lafata led the team with a 2nd place finish in the 200yd freestyle with a time of 1:40.52 and an exciting come from behind 1st place finish in the 500yd freestyle with an Automatic All American time of  4:27.02.

Freshman Nick Torres also led the team with top finishes in his events including 5th place in the 200 individual medley of 1:52.64 just off our team record and 2nd place in the 100 backstroke 51.21!.

Other great individual performances were turned in by Aristides Speres in the 100 butterfly 51.51.45 along with Ryan Mairele and Stephan Gray in the 500yd freestyle coming in at  4:49.12 and 4:49.27 respectively. Gray also was nominated for the sportsmanship award of the meet for the Catholic High School Section.

In the relays, the team of Aristides Speres (46.41), Alec Nicaj (47.35), Nick Torres (45.81), and Spencer Lafata (46.10) captured 1st place in the 400yd freestyle relay for the 5th year in a row with an automatic all american time of 3:05.67, less than a second off the state record which is also held by Fordham Prep. In addition, the team of Nick Torres, Charles Lazaroni, Aristides Speres, and Alec Nicaj placed 5th overall in the 200medley relay and 4th in the  200freestyle relay with Speres, Francis Moran, Lafata, and Nicaj. 
Congratulations to the team on a fantastic meet and conclusion to the season!

2/7/16- NYCHSAA Championships

The Fordham prep swim and dive team concluded their CHSAA season on Sunday evening. The three day meet saw incredible competition throughout. Thursday evening the divers got the team some early points taking 2nd, 13, 18, and 19th. Saturday during the swimming trials the team placed themselves in a great position for sunday's finals, with all swimmers turning in best times of the season. Sunday's finals started with the 200 medley relay 1st through third place teams sepersted by less than a second. Through the next 5 events the lead changed hands between the Prep and two other teams multiple times. Prep swimmers Spencer Lafatta and Nick Torres were crowned individual champions in the 200 freestyle and 200 individual medley respectively. After the diving the top three teams were sepersted by only 11 points. Through the final 6 events the Aquarams continued to turn in top swims with Spencer Lafata winning the 500 freestyle, Nick Torres the 100 Back, and the 400 relay of Aristides Speres, Allan Cooke, Nick Torres and Spencer Lafata winning the final event. As the dust settled and the final score was announced the Prep had been crowned 2016 CHSAA runner ups. Congratulations to Stephen Gray, Ryan Maeirle, Allan Cooke, Charles Lazaroni, Aristidies Speres, Spencer Lafata, Nick Torres and Alec Nicaj all turned in State Championship qualifying times and will represent he Prep at the New York State Federation Championships. Congratulations to all Prep Swimmers and Divers on an excellent season!

1/25/16- FORDHAM PREP VS. st. anthonys

The Fordham Prep Swim and Dive Team concluded their duel meet season Monday evening against this years league powerhouse St. Anthony's.  What was billed to be a competitive and exciting meet surpassed all expectations.  The Aquarams turned in fantastic swim after fantastic swim, winning the first 3 events and going into the one meter diving tied 31 to 31.  The back and forth continued after the diving with St. Anthony's and the Prep swapping slim leads after each event.  Going into the final event, the 400 yard freestyle relay, the Aquarams had a slight 2 point lead.  After the final touches, in what was the most exciting race of the season, the Prep came up just a tad short, conceding victory to the Friars by 2 points. The team has much to be proud of at the conclusion of the duel meet season, many swimmers and divers turned in their best performances of the season on Monday and are looking to use this momentum to catapult them even further in the CHSAA Championships that are scheduled for February 4th, 6th and 7th.  Outstanding performances were turned in by Aristedes Speres, Jared Copeland, Frankie Moran, Nick Torres, Stephen Amato, Steven Gray, Alec Nicaj, Nick Malloy, Trevor Sermon, Chris Bennianti, and Spencer Lafata.

Kudos to all swimmers and divers for an excellent duel meet season, and to the Class of 2016 Aquarams completing their duel meet careers 39-1.  Good Luck at Championships!


12/22/15- FORDHAM PREP VS. xAVIER

On Tuesday, December 22nd the Prep Swim and Dive Team had one last task to take care of before winter break.  Set for a show down with school rival Xavier, the team was committed to continuing their undefeated season moving into the holidays. Several fantastic swims were turned in highlighted by Aristedes Speres, Spencer Lafata, Alec Nicaj, Brian Chrystal, Trevor Sermon, and many more.  The team jumped out to a quick lead, and was able to maintain and build winning some exciting races along the way.  The team looks forward to capitalizing on its winter break practices at their next meet, against Xavieran on Tuesday, January 5th at the Fordham University Pool.  All are welcome to come and cheer on the team. Good Job and Good Luck to all Aquarams!


12/3/15- FORDHAM PREP VS. ST. Francis

The Prep swim and dive team welcomed the terriers of St. Francis Prep to the Rose Hill campus.  The Aquarams snapped to a quick start sweeping 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place in the meet's initial event, the 200 yard Medley relay.  The second event saw Freshman Nick Torres win the 200 yard freestyle, followed by Junior Spencer LaFata in the third event, the 200 yard Individual Medley, also capturing 1st place.  Seniors Alec Nicaj and Brian Chrystal continued the winning ways securing the prep's 4th and 5th wins in the 50 and 100 yard freestyles. The team went on to win each of the remaining 8 events and the overall meet 93-67.  Outstanding swims were also turned in by some younger members of the team when Freshmen Andrew Wetty, Chis Garcia and Sophomores Daniel Masseo, Ryan Garvey, Lukas Petit all made their A-championship qualifying times.  The team looks forward to continuing its season against Molloy, on Monday December 14th.  Congratulations to all Swimmers and Divers on a job well done!  

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11/22/15- FORDHAM PREP VS. ST. Peters

Sunday evening the Prep Swim and Dive team swam Staten Island powerhouse St. Peters.  The Aquarams got off to a quick start taking first and second place in the 200 yard medley relay, and continued their winning pace for the remainder of the meet.  The Prep won every event, including sweeping the 1 meter diving. Alec Nicaj, Michael Filaridi, Jalen Ramjohn, Chris Benninati, Brian Chrystal, Stephen Amato, Dylan Walsh and Mike Marun all turned in great swims. Congratulations to freshman Austin Hourican, Luke Rosato, Jared Copeland, Ryan Maierle, and Nick Torres all who made their Varisty A-championships cut.  The team looks forward to the annual Relay Carnival on Tuesday evening.

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11/19/15- fORDHAM pREP VS. ST dOMINICS

The Prep Swimming and Diving team kicked off its variety season Thursday night welcoming St. Dominics to the University natatorium.  The team got off to a quick start sweeping the 1 meter diving and the 200 yard medley relay event, and continued to its fast pace throughout the night.  Junior Spencer Lafata won the 200 yard freestyle in a New York State Championship qualifying time of 1:45.34 seconds.  Alan Cooke, Trevor Sermon, Frankie Moran, Aristides Speres, Ryan Maierle, Jared Copeland and Nick Torres also turned in excellent swimming performances.  The team has a quick turnaround for its second meet as they look to take on St. Peters High School, Sunday at 5:30pm.  Congratulations to all swimmers and divers on a great first meet! 

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2015 Fordham Prep Freshman Swimming & Diving

Congratulations to the FP Freshman Swimming & Diving for finishing 2nd place at CHSAA Championships.  The team won 5 of the 8 swimming events. Nick Torres was named the meet MVP, breaking 3 league and team records (100 IM, 50 Back, 50 Free). Ryan Maierle won two events (50 Free & 100 Free). In the final race of the day, the 200 Free Relay team of Luke Rosatto, Jared Copeland, Ryan Maierle and Nick Torres set a new league and team record. 


2015 NY State Federation Champs


The Fordham Prep Swim team captured their 5th consecutive New York State Federation Championship this weekend in Ithica, NY. The 200 Medley Relay of Jalen Ramjohn, Ian Bidwell, Aristides Speres and Alec Nicaj began the meet with a 3rd place finish. In the 200 freestyle relay, the team of Michael Verini, Timothy Buttigieg, Alec Nicaj, and Steven Tierney won with a time of 1:24.92. Top eight performances were turned in by Michael Verini (50 Free & 100 Free), Steven Tierney (200 Free, 100 free), Jack Collins (500 Free), Ian Bidwell (200 IM & 500 Free), & Spencer LaFata (200 Free & 500 Free), The final event of the day, the 400 Freestyle relay, the team of Michael Verini, Spencer LaFata, Jack Collins, Steven Tierney, finished the meet with a fantastic swim of 3:06.19 and sealed the deal assuring the team's dominating win with 245 points. Congratulations to all!
Congratulations to all!

 


The Value of Suffering
Posted 03/27/2015 02:55PM

As we make our way through Lent to Easter, we hear more and more about the redemptive power of suffering. Does this mean though that we should seek suffering? Our visceral reaction is a resounding NO, but perhaps this is a question that deserves more consideration.

In a recent New York Times article, Lent: It’s not Just for Catholics, columnist Arthur C. Brooks writes: “We don’t want to suffer — we hate it, in fact. Yet it is suffering that often brings personal improvement. Not all pain is beneficial, obviously. But researchers have consistently found that most survivors of illness and loss experience ‘posttraumatic growth.’ Not only do many people find a greater emotional maturity after suffering; they are even better prepared to help others deal with their pain. That is why after a loss we turn for comfort to those who have endured a similar loss.”

We live in a culture that tells us to avoid suffering at all cost, often promoting the opposite-pleasure at any cost. We go to great lengths, for example, to shield our children from any form of suffering. The “everyone gets a trophy” mentality that can permeate youth sports, while well intentioned, can prevent the growth that comes with the suffering associated with failure. It’s natural to want to avoid failure, but countless studies point to the invaluable role that failure plays in a child’s growth into adulthood. We have only to look to the lives of people such as Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Edison to know how important failure can be. Lincoln failed in nearly every election before finally winning the Presidency. Edison failed over 10,000 times in his attempts to invent a viable filament for the light bulb. Edison’s perspective is instructive, “I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work”. The suffering brought on by failure led to growth for both Lincoln and Edison.

Lent focuses our attention on suffering. We make our Lenten sacrifices, take on our small sufferings, as we recall Jesus’ Paschal Mystery. Non-Catholics, and many Catholics themselves, are perplexed by this practice of voluntary sacrifice and suffering. As a colleague of mine often asks rhetorically of his students, “There is enough suffering in my life. Why should I seek to take on more?” A fair question, but as Brooks points out, we all know from our own experience that there can be an intrinsic value in suffering. His point is at the very heart of Christian faith: God transforms Jesus’ suffering on the cross into new life in the Resurrection. Suffering in our life can follow that same redemptive dynamic when we allow God to bring new life from our pain, when we trust in God’s power to transform.

It is also worth noting that Jesus’s suffering was not arbitrary, but rather taken on for the sake of others, indeed for all of humanity. The suffering that is accepted for the good of another has a profound power. Examples abound in our world today- the soldiers who suffer to defend human rights and freedom, the aid workers who suffer to bring healing and hope to refugees, and the mother who suffers the pains of childbirth and childrearing to bring new life into the world. They along with the Easter story remind us that suffering is a mystery that touches all of our lives, even God’s life in Jesus. In our salvation story though, suffering never gets the last word.

So, should we seek suffering? Well, perhaps the answer is still no, but maybe we ought not to go to such great lengths to avoid it either, especially when it is for the benefit of someone else. And, when it does unavoidably come our way, perhaps this Easter we can remember to trust that God can use it to bring new life. That indeed is our Resurrection faith!

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