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2009-2010 Season Recap

Posted Monday, March 01, 2010 by Mark Becker
The Fordham Prep swimming and diving team faced a tough challenge this season – making up for the loss of perhaps the best senior class in team history.  Having lost seven of a CHSAA-record 13 state competitors in 2008 and six of 12 in 2009, including a state champion each year, the Rams would have been in trouble this year had it not been for most of the veterans stepping up to combine with one of the best freshman classes in school history.
From September through the second week of November, the freshmen swept the dual-meet season before finally knocking Chaminade off in the Championship, Fordham’s first since 1989.  Behind co-swimmers of the meet Joe Eiden and Billy Fierro Joyce, the Rams broke seven freshman school records (of a possible nine, including diving). Eiden and Fierro Joyce both won all three events they swam, while Sean Lyons and diver Matt Dunworth each won another, Danny McLaughlin placed second in two and Oscar Magalong and diver Matt Casino each finished as runners-up once.  Lyons and Magalong were also members of the first-place Medley Relay and McLaughlin, Andrew Cahill, Colin Hogan and Devon Higham finished second in the Free Relay.
The Varsity team looked to build off that success, cruising past Iona Prep in December before falling by one point to Chaminade and then to St. Anthony’s.  Neither ruined the season, as the goal all year was to win a fourth-consecutive CHSAA Championship despite the huge hole the had team from last year's graduating class, and the Rams came as close as they could have.
Every single swimmer dropped time in at least one event at the Championship. Fordham finished a close second to St. Athony's and still managed to tie its own CHSAA record with 13 swimmers qualifying for 16 events at states – five seniors, four juniors, two sophomores and two freshmen, with Lyons also traveling as an alternate.
Senior divers Phillip Truong and Miguel Hummel finished one-two in the diving on Friday before the swimmers took to the pool on Saturday and Sunday. It was Phillip's 4th consecutive CHSAA title in diving. At finals, Eiden placed sixth in the 200 Free, sophomore Brett Hogan shot to third in the 200 IM and senior captains Connor Downey and John Accarino placed fourth and sixth, respectively, in both the 50 and 100 Free.  Hogan had a tremendous 500 Free, finishing 2nd with Eiden and Lyons just behind in sixth and seventh, as did Joe Casino in the 100 Back, finishing on the short end of a three-way touch-out for first.  Fordham’s best event proved to be the 100 Breast, with Dale Wallace, Dan Murphy and captain Will Strobel finishing third, fourth and sixth, respectively.  The Rams finished third, second and fifth in the relays, qualifying each for states.
Fordham got extra boosts from McLaughlin, who dropped three seconds in the 200 Free and nine in the 500 Free, and Tibo Vincent, who dropped five seconds in the 200 IM and nearly three seconds in the 100 Fly, as well as several others.  For the first time in team history, every single swimmer and diver entered in Champs made the Top 24 in each of his respective events, all scoring points for the team.
Truong capped his undefeated CHSAA career with the Top Diver award and will attempt to become Fordham’s fourth state champion after two second-place finishes.
Just about everyone on the team made at least one A-Champ cut as well, with the few who missed out right on the cusp of doing so.
Although the Rams barely missed out on their goal of winning the CHSAA, they enjoyed a fantastic season and look to continue it at states this weekend.  With most of the team’s scorers returning next year and hopefully another excellent freshman class next year, the Rams’ future looks brighter than it ever has.
The season continued with the NY State Championships.  The Fordham Prep swimming and diving team had a CHSAA-record 13 athletes representing the Rams.  The team was made up of seniors John Accarino, Connor Downey, Miguel Hummel, Phillip Truong and Will Strobel, juniors Pat Banks, Peter Cahill, Joe Casino and Dan Murphy, sophomores Brett Hogan and Dale Wallace and freshmen Joe Eiden and Billy Fierro Joyce. The team combined for 16 swims, including three relays and two divers.  The Rams had at least one competitor in all but two of the 12 events.  
Truong capped his CHSAA-undefeated diving career with a third consecutive second-place finish at States, totaling  508.5 points as the Rams’ highest finisher of the competition. Once the swimming portion got under way, the 200 Medley Relay team of Casino, Wallace, Fierro Joyce and Downey started things off with a season-best 1:39.57 to finish 18th. Brett Hogan stepped up for his 500 Freestyle and placed 22nd.  The 200 Freestyle Relay team of Accarino, Eiden, Banks and Downey finished 11th and Casino followed that up with a 14th-place finish in the 100 Backstroke. In the final individual event of the night – the 100 Breaststroke –  Dale Wallace finished the Rams’ season on the right note, swimming a personal-best 59.84 to become only the second Ram in school history to break 1:00 in the event.  His time was 12th fastest and the fastest of any sophomore in all of New York State.
The Rams finished 22nd at States, while helping the CHSAA win the overall State title. The team thanks all the seniors for their contributions over their four years as Rams.

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