Written by Ed Rotondo Friday, 12 October 2012 00:00The Garden City girls swim team has been a model of consistency over the past 13 years for coach Anne Sullivan. And the term consistent may be selling them short. They have been consistently awesome, having won the Nassau County title each of the last 13 years, while going undefeated for the past 10 seasons.
With the season under way the Lady Trojan swimmers are keeping the streak alive with a perfect 4-0 record. Their latest victory was on Thursday at Jericho by a score of 104 to 74. The significance of this particular victory was that Coach Sullivan and the girls swim team has now won an incredible 100 consecutive victories, a Garden City record for any sport and a Nassau County swim record. The streak started in 2001 after GC lost a meet to Sewanhaka. The team went on to win their last meet of 2001 and haven’t looked back since. When asked about the accomplishment Coach Sullivan remarked “I’m not really into the numbers, it’s always been about the girls doing their best – and that has always been good enough for us to win.”
Although there have been some close calls along the way, the girls have always been able to find that final kick to finish off their opponents. For a team that has held the Nassau County record for most points scored at a championship meet since 2007, which they broke at the 2010 Championships, there have been several times that their streak was in jeopardy. Twice the team has won Counties by less than 20 points, a very narrow margin in the pool.
The closest call was a dual meet in 2008 against Long Beach that came down to the final race with Garden City trailing. In that 400-freestyle relay the strength and determination of GC swimmers was demonstrated as the foursome of Sarah Schlichte, Colleen Logan, Gaby Barcklow and Megan Zarriello swam to a victory.
The meet against Jericho started off much like every other one, high expectations for a very confident Garden City team. The confidence comes from the commitment that the girls and Coach Sullivan put into the program. Most, if not all of the girls swim not only for the varsity but also for local swim clubs, which means that they are in the pool at least six days a week for several hours at a time.
Leading this year’s team with an eye towards another title is senior captain Lindsay Schlichte, along with senior co-captains Marie Clarkson and Kelly Quinn. Schlichte won the 200-freestyle, finished second in the 100-freestyle to freshman teammate Caroline Bonvissuto and was a member of the winning 200-and 400-freestyle relays along with Bonvissuto. While Clarkson and Quinn also swam in the winning 200-relay, Gabriella Meringolo (7th grade) and Cara Heaney (7) were members of the winning 400-freestyle relay.
Kelly Quinn also won the 200-individual medley and was a member of the winning 200-medley relay along with Julia Hall (10), Jacqueline Vani (11) and Caitlin Powderly (9), while Clarkson had two outstanding races finishing second in the 50-freestyle and 100-butterfly to All-State Jericho swimmer Trudiann Patrick.
Other outstanding performances at Jericho were Betina Hughes (12) and Emily Mercandanti (11) finishing first and third in diving, Chloe Savino (9) and Kerri Heuser (12) coming in second and third to Schlichte in the 200-freestyle, Deirdre McGrath (11), Finola Heaney (9) and Allyson Kraff (7) going 1-2-3 in the grueling 500-freestyle, Julia Hall (10) and Kristen Noonan (11) swimming 1-2 in the 100-backstroke and Jacqueline Vani (11) winning the 100-breaststroke.