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!
After a short hiatus, we are happy to resume our regular monthly Pilgim's Post. This month's post, Pentecost: An Illumination Drifts In, is written by Rosanne English, a member of the Prep's English Department.
Pentecost: An Illumination Drifts In
Who turned the light on? Someone did. The LCD screen on your tablet or iPhone illuminates this line of text as you read. Fluorescent light flickers above my office desk. Even if it’s the dead of night, the sun is somewhere out there, hanging in the sky. I take this for granted sometimes.
May is a sunny month of milestones and celebrations: graduations, confirmations, first communions, wedding anniversaries and Mother’s Day. In some cultures, May 1st marks Earth’s return to spring. The season lags through April showers, and then we hope to meet a month of May flowers. It usually works out; the trees have burst into full canopies on the Fordham University campus this week.
This year, May also marks a milestone in the Church calendar. A frigid, early Easter season allowed us to enjoy the neatly symbolic alignment of a blooming May spring and a seminal moment in the history of our faith community: Pentecost.
The Acts of the Apostles recounts:
When the day of Pentecost came, all the believers were gathered together in one place. Suddenly there was a noise from the sky which sounded like a strong wind blowing, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then they saw what looked like tongues of fire which spread out and touched each person there. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to talk in other languages, as the Spirit enabled them to speak. (Acts II, 1 - 4)
On Pentecost, the Holy Spirit filled the disciples with joy, confidence and the power to proclaim the message of Jesus Christ, His love, and salvation for all their brothers and sisters. We celebrate this feast each year and remind ourselves that the Holy Spirit works within the Church and its members. We all walk in Christ and share His Good News through our faith, actions and love. We share this message and understanding as a faith community.
The Holy Spirit, however, comes to the disciples as more than just a message. It arrives on a wave of “noise” and “strong wind” and “what looked like tongues of fire… touched each person there.” The Holy Spirit reveals itself to the disciples with sensory, earthly tidings. Wind and sound stir through the room – when a breeze lifts into a quick gust and slams the kitchen door shut, it startles us, demands our attention. Fire, transformative and light-giving, seems to rest upon each disciple. A small candle can give enough light for me to read, when that same wind arrives with a summer storm and shorts out the electricity.
The Spirit doesn’t simply fill the hearts and minds of the disciples with gifts, but also fills the mouths of the apostles with language. The Holy Spirit will speak through each disciple to share the Good News. But observe that the Spirit speaks through the disciples in many tongues – not just one. The Spirit does not speak in one tongue, does not seek to play the Word on loop, as a monotone news anchor delivers a rote sound-bite on CNN News. Rather, the Holy Spirit encourages us to speak and listen to God in many good ways, through many good voices.
A central tenet of Jesuit spirituality is that we can live our lives “finding God in all things.” A tool that can help this practice is the Examen. In The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything, James Martin, SJ describes the Examen in a simple and real way:
Push the play button and run through your day, from start to finish, from your rising in the morning to preparing to go to bed at night. Notice what made you happy, what made you stressed, what confused you, what helped you be more loving. Recall everything: sights, sounds, feelings, tastes, textures, conversations. Thoughts, words, and deeds, as Ignatius says. Each moment offers a window to where God has been in your day.
Wherever you are, there is God. It can be hard sometimes to stop and see, to be present to what and where He can be in our lives; yet the feast of Pentecost reminds us that the Holy Spirit comes with a fire, that can shed light on God in our lives, and blows in with a wind, which startles us and asks us to stop, look and listen.
I frequently find God in books; I am an English teacher. In Virginia Woolfe’s To the Lighthouse she writes:
She must rest for a moment. And, resting…the old question which transversed the sky of the soul perpetually, the vast, the general question which was apt to particularize itself at such moments as these…paused over her, darkened over her. What is the meaning of life? That was all — a simple question; one that tended to close in on one with years. The great revelation had never come. The great revelation perhaps never did come. Instead there were little daily miracles, illuminations, matches struck unexpectedly in the dark; here was one.
What are your illuminations? What are the matches struck unexpectedly in your dark, in your daily life? Look for them and perhaps you will find a flicker where you least expect it. After all, as my Dad is apt to say: the sun is always shining. St. Ignatius inspires us: “go forth and set the world on fire!” but find that tiny tongue of flame first. Listen for it. Stop and sit a spell the next time the wind blows your kitchen door open.
Rosanne English is completing her 8th year at Fordham Prep teaching in the English Department.