It’s the final opportunity for Sean Cannon and Tyler Meyers.
For the previous five seasons, St. Anthony’s boys swimming team has competed at the state tournament and has had strong performances — winning events, setting school and personal records — but the Friars have fallen short of attaining their ultimate prize: winning the team championship. Last year, St. Anthony’s finished second to Fordham Prep.
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Said Meyers, “It’s been especially in the back of mine and Sean’s head ever since that meet was over last year.”
You could have all but inked seniors Meyers and Cannon’s names for a return trip entering their fourth year on varsity. Along with fellow senior captain Noah Chernik, the Friars return 75 percent of a lineup that finished second in the state in the 400-yard freestyle relay. Meyers and Cannon were members of a state championship 200 medley relay that set a school record.
In short, the Friars have swimmers who know how to win. But what makes this year’s team different?
“This year, every new swimmer we have, all the new freshmen, even some kids that transferred in,” Meyers said, “it just seems like we have a such a great opportunity to try to capture a state title so we’ve just been so pumped.”
Cannon, who set the school record in the 50 free (20.92 seconds) and 100 free (46.24), leads the way. He also placed third in the state in the 50 free and fourth in the 100 free. Meyers said Cannon has “always been one of the top dogs.”
Cannon has followed in his older brother’s footsteps. He watched his brother Chris set records swimming at St. Anthony’s, and wanted to do the same.
“It was crazy,” Cannon said. “When I was watching my brother swim, the kid that had the records was on his team, so he was a big guy up there. So it was really special to be able to break his record because I watched him do it.”
And now Cannon and Meyers are pushing each other toward the goal of knocking off Fordham. Doing so adds pressure to the Friars’ 1-2 combination, but they wouldn’t have it any other way.
“It’s really special being with someone like Tyler on the team,” Cannon said, “because when we put ourselves together . . . we can do some really special stuff with that.”