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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
Beyond Doubt: Learning from St. Thomas the Apostle
By Paul Homer
The gospels are filled with the greatest stories ever told, and surely the greatest among them are those we hear during this Easter season. The wondrous accounts of the glorious appearances, movements, and words of the Risen Christ give us our first and best glimpse into salvation. They also provide us with profound insights into the human condition. One might have expected that the power of the Resurrection would have cured us of every weakness of thought, action, and character. Not so. On the plus side, we have Mary Magdalene, who kept faith with Christ in contrast to the Apostles, who were holed up and cowering in the upper room. Her willingness to go it alone to the tomb resulted in her being a first witness to the Good News. Peter’s poor performance during the Passion did not preclude him from coming around and listening to Mary Magdalene's report. His willingness to trust and to go to the tomb marked the beginning of his dramatic turnaround. And, of course, the beloved disciple never wavered.
For many of us, though, the most memorable post-Resurrection story involves the Apostle Didymus, better known as St. Thomas the Apostle, sometimes called the Apostle to India, and forever remembered as doubting Thomas. I have a special affection for St. Thomas the Apostle—my wife, Karen, and I were married on his feast day (July 3) and our home parish bears his name. But it is his very human and flawed story that moves me. The Scriptures actually tell us more about Thomas than most of the other apostles. He was brave with perhaps a dark sense of humor. When Jesus announced at a very dangerous time of his ministry that he was going to Lazarus’s tomb in Judea, Thomas retorted, “Let us go so that we may die with him.”(John 11) And Thomas’s deep need to know and to understand was there from the beginning. After Jesus said at the Last Supper “Where I am going, you know the way,” Thomas asked, “Master, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?” Jesus then proclaimed, “I am the way and the truth* and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14)
But it is the post-Resurrection story in John 20 for which Thomas is best remembered:
Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nail marks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” Now a week later his disciples were again inside and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, although the doors were locked, and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you. Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe.” Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”
Homilies and paintings through the centuries have focused on Thomas’s skepticism, the privileged encounter with Jesus who invites Thomas to touch His wounds, Thomas’s ultimate proclamation of faith, and the blessing of Jesus on all of us who believe without seeing. There is, however, a little passing line in the passage that has always jumped out at me: “Now a week later His disciples were again inside and Thomas was with them.” (v.26) Thomas, who had not yet come to believe, remained with the other disciples. Why on earth would he have chosen to stay? Even if he allowed himself to believe that Jesus had risen and appeared to the others, Thomas knew that Jesus had not come to him. No one would have blamed Thomas for walking away from the community, for regarding his time following Jesus as a failure, or for embarking on a new chapter in his life. Yet, despite his unbelief, Thomas remained with the disciples.
How often when we are feeling disappointed, hurt, angry, or persecuted are we tempted to turn away from our core values and life-giving relationships? How often do we lash out, give in, feel down, or drink up when we’ve had a falling out with someone we love; been the victim of undeserved suffering; or witnessed the hypocrisy of our leaders?
Thomas knew well all those pains and temptations, yet he remained with the disciples. Though lacking belief in the Risen Lord, he somehow knew deep down that his life in that community offered him more than any other path he could have taken. There is much wisdom in the ancient admonition to “avoid sin and the occasion of sin.” Thomas’s advice to us is to “seek grace and occasions of grace, even when you are not feeling grace.”
Thomas may not have yet come to believe, but he seemed to know where to position himself if belief were going to come to him. So, when the joy and consolation of faith are elusive, as they were for Thomas, let us try to put ourselves in a place where grace has been known to walk through locked doors--in prayer, in the sacraments, in loving relationships, in worship with the community, in service to those in need. It is in those places where we are most likely to encounter the Risen Christ and to find ourselves proclaiming “My Lord and my God.”
Paul Homer has a Master of Arts Degree in Religious Studies from the University of Virginia and has taught Religious Studies and directed the Prep’s Christian Service Program for the past 26 years.