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Athlete of the Week is St. Anthony’s swimmer Andrew Stange

Andrew Stange of St. Anthony's swims the butterfly

Andrew Stange of St. Anthony's swims the butterfly portion of the 200-yard medley relay during the CHSAA City Championships at Nassau Aquatic Center on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017. St. Anthony's won the event with a time of 1:35.40. Credit: James Escher

Good luck getting Andrew Stange to brag about himself.

All the St. Anthony’s senior did last Saturday was win the state 200 freestyle championship and pick up a first — in state record time — and came in second as a member of relay teams.

His performance earned him the honor of being Newsday’s Athlete of the Week, but on Saturday he was mostly concerned with helping his team in the state title meet.

“For me, it wasn’t so much ‘I want to win because I want a medal,’ ” Stange said. “It was more, ‘I want to win because that’s how we get points and that’s how we get ahead in this type of meet.’ ”

Along with Stange’s freestyle victory at the Nassau Aquatic Center at Eisenhower Park, he joined Conor Rutigliano, Michael Chang and Justin Meyn on the 200-medley relay team that swam a state record 1:33.32. That and his 1:38.21 in the 200 free reached All-American standards.

“He’s able to go back-to-back, he did that for us all season,” coach Dan McBride said. “It takes a special type of swimmer to be able to do that.”

And Stange, from Smithtown and committed to Georgetown, isn’t only special in the pool. He was awarded the state swimming and diving Scholar-Athlete Award Saturday.

“That’s a real honor,” Stange said. “There are so many smart, hardworking guys here. To be chosen for that award, it’s really unique.”

Stange’s performances propelled St. Anthony’s to second in the Federation team standings with 222 points, behind Fordham Prep’s 254. The Friars had their second-straight undefeated dual-meet season this year.

“His presence shows everyone underneath him how to work and basically how to be a Friar,” McBride said. “Those guys really stepped up and a lot has to do with Andrew’s leadership. They watch him and see his approach and how serious he prepares and they learn from him.”

McBride said he’s going to miss having Stange’s influence on the team. Stange, who remembers starting swimming lessons at age 2 and started competitive swimming at 7, is excited to study and swim at Georgetown next fall.

“He’s taught me as much as I could have taught him,” McBride said. “He’s incredible to watch in the water and I use him as an example constantly for other people on the team. We’ll videotape him and show it to other kids so he teaches me as much as I can teach him.

“I’m a swimming fan beyond anything and I’m a fan of his. He’s incredible. I’m going to miss that guy, that’s for sure.”


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