The St. Anthony’s boys swimmers had to watch other teams perform the celebratory jump in the water following the CHSAA championships the last two seasons. The Friars were determined not to let that happen a third time.
“It was really motivating for us,” Dylan Champagne said. “The last two years we’ve come here and lost and it’s disappointing. But it definitely motivated us throughout the season to come here and take it back.”
St. Anthony’s did just that, putting together a string of individual and relay victories, along with top-three finishes in 10 of the 11 events, to win its first league title since 2016.
“Ever since last year,” Justin Meyn said, “we had the fire to come back and try to take back the championship.”
Meyn led the way for the Friars on Sunday at Nassau Aquatic Center, winning the 50-yard freestyle (20.90 seconds) and 100 freestyle (45.92). He also was on the winning 200 and 400 freestyle relays.
“I felt good out there, but it’s the teammates that really get you going for the race,” he said. “So I was just going out there trying to put the most amount of points on the board.”
St. Anthony’s 803 points topped Fordham Prep’s 753 and Chaminade’s 736. A win by the Friars’ 200 freestyle relay team of Mark Owens, Chris Stange, William Swartwout and Meyn, combined with a victory by their 400 freestyle relay team of Meyn, Stange, Champagne and Swartwout in the final event, helped deliver the title.
“We definitely wanted to make a statement and really finish it off with an exclamation point,” Champagne said. “And we all swam our hearts out and got it done.”
Freshman Joe Tonna had St. Anthony’s other individual victory, taking the 200 freestyle by 0.28 seconds with a 1:42.03. He also finished second in the 500 freestyle.
“It’s just crazy,” he said. “My first race as a Friar at champs and I won.”
St. Anthony’s coach Dan McBride credited his team’s depth and work ethic, with Meyn leading the way.
“He sets the example,” McBride said. “He wants his team to push themselves to the limits, and he’ll do it first. He’ll be the first guy out there to push himself with everything’s he’s got.”
“This kid’s amazing,” Champagne said of Meyn. “This guy works so hard at practice and when you see guys like this, he really leads by example and inspires you.”
CHSAA boys swimming championships full results
At the Nassau Aquatic Center
200-yard medley relay: Fordham Prep, Torres, Kelly, Copeland, Galea, 1:34.77, Chaminade, Walsh, Daly, Cornish, Saville, 1:36.49, St. Anthony’s, Fitzpatrick, Rupnarain, Giardinelli, Owens, 1:36.94; 200 free: Tonna, SA, 1:42.03, Shopis, Cha, 1:42.31, Champagne, SA, 1:43.07; 200 IM: Torres, FP, 1:53.19, Fitzpatrick, SA, 1:54.31, Daly, Cha, 1:54.31; 50 free: Meyn, SA, 20.90, Owens, SA, 21.15, Melchore, Cha, 21.51; Diving: McNicholas, Kellenberg, 446.85, Galante, Cha, 418.85, Nenadich, St. Francis Prep, 100 fly: Karinsky, SFP, 51.34, Owens, SA, 51.61, Giardinelli, SA, 51.85; 100 free: Meyn, SA, 45.92, Stange, SA, 47.37, Norris, FP, 47.58; 500 free: Maierle, FP, 4:37.17, Tonna, SA, 4:39.41, Champagne, SA, 4:41.02; 200 free relay: SA, Owens, Stange, Swartwout, Meyn, 1:25.21, Cha, Coward, Shopis, Shannon, Melchore, 1:26.08, FP, Copeland, Galea, Norris, Maierle, 1:26.64; 100 back: Torres, FP, 51.27, Swartwout 51.62, Walsh, Cha, 52.47; 100 breast: Kelly, FP, 57.62, Daly, Cha, 57.80, Loftus, Xavier, 58.54; 400 free relay: SA, Meyn, Stange, Champagne, Swartwout, 3:07.41, FP, Maierle, Norris, Sisk, Torres, 3:11.24, Cha, Walsh, Melchore, Shannon, Shopis; Team scores: St. Anthony’s 803, Fordham Prep 753, Chaminade 736.