Written by Kristen Cornelis Thursday, 27 February 2014 00:00
The North Shore High School swimming team completed its season with high honors this year. Both the men’s and women’s teams have qualified individual athletes for all-conference and all-county championship competitions.
Coach Samara Weitz has also been honored with the Nassau County Coach of the Year award—motivating many of her athletes to succeed throughout the season, including senior Kristen Stanis.
“She made sure I was working hard, but also having fun,” Stanis said. “She taught me how to balance work and play and how it’s important to maintain it.”
The women’s swimming team celebrated an undefeated season this year while winning the conference championship, finishing with nine women receiving all-conference titles. Freshmen Ashleigh Sheerin and Carly Spallone qualified for numerous events. Sheerin dominated in the 50-yard freestyle and placed 37th in Nassau County. This qualified her for all-conference in the 50-yard freestyle individual event. Senior Jordane Mink was quick behind Sheerin, finishing 44th in the county for this event.
Seniors Stanis and Mink also picked up two individual event qualifications for all-conference this season. Stanis earned recognition in the 100-yard butterfly competition while Mink qualified in all-conference for the 100-yard freestyle. Emily Mink also earned placements in Nassau County for the 500-yard freestyle event (18th) and the 200-yard individual medley (18th).
In group competition, Stanis has been a member of the 400-yard freestyle relay team, alongside Julianna Holzmann, Tara McGillicuddy, and Carly Spallone – that placed 18th in the Nassau Country Championships. As a senior, Stanis believes the girls “supported one another in order to become the best that we could be” this season.
Also placing 18th in the County Championship was the 200-yard freestyle relay team including McGillicuddy, Spallone, Sheerin, and Jordane Mink.
For seniors like Stanis and Mink who will be graduating this year, it is sad to see their high school swimming career come to an end. But according to Stanis, she will be always be grateful to have met the people she now considers family.
“It’s a bitter-sweet feeling because even though the sport consumed so much of my time, it was a place where I had a second family; friendships grew and we were all in it together,” Stanis said. “It was an empowering experience to become the conference champs, and I am so glad I was able to finish my career with a bang and do it with the most amazing team ever.”
Along with the success of the women’s team was the men’s swimming team, who finished the season ranked third in their conference, sixth in the division, and 21st in Nassau County. Seven of the men were honored in different competitions including the 200-yard medley relay, 200-yard freestyle relay and the individual 500-yard freestyle event.
Juniors Nick Babich, Nick Salerno, Tom Yacavone, and swimmer Christian Cooke made up the 200-yard medley relay team ranked 20th in the county this season. These men were also awarded with all-conference honors for the relay event.
Cooke was also a member of the 200-yard freestyle relay team alongside sophomore Jeffrey Plotka, Perry Kleeman, and Jacob Diaz – who were ranked 16th in the county and awarded with all-conference honors for this event. Kleeman solely represented his team in the individual 500-yard freestyle event and was awarded with all-conference honors to finish the season.