Oceanside teammates Catherine Stanford and Morgan Rinn share a special bond.
One that goes beyond the swimming pool.
“Our motivation and our mindset are the same. We really believe in each other,” Stanford said. “We are so driven and get along so well at school and at practice, and even hang out outside of school.”
The Sailors’ dynamic duo were both double winners Saturday at the Nassau girls swimming championships at the Nassau Aquatic Center.
Stanford won the 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard freestyle for the fourth consecutive season and was named the most valuable swimmer of the meet for the second straight year. She finished with a time of 22.93 in the 50 free and 50.11 in the 100 free.
The senior broke her own school record of 23.31 that she set at county’s last year, when she swam a 22.92 during Friday night’s preliminary heats. That time is the fastest in the state this season.
“It is such an honor. I know the girls train as hard as me and work as hard as me,” Stanford said. “Deep down it’s really about being mentally tough. The support I have behind me from my family means the world to me.”
Rinn won the 200 IM (2:04.43) and the 100 fly (56.43) for the second straight year. The two will remain teammates next fall when they swim at Penn State.
“We have been friends for so long and to be able to train with her and win these events is an indescribable feeling,” Rinn said. “To be able to have her by my side for the next four years is so exciting.”
Manhasset junior Francesca Raimondi finished first in the 200 free (1:50.90) and was the runner-up in the 500 free (5:03.88). Fellow junior Sophia Karras of Herricks was second in the 200 free (1:50.99) and won the 500 free in 4:52.79, the second fastest time in the state. Lauren Kuzma (Garden City) won the 100 breaststroke in 1:04.75 and was second in the 200 IM (2:07.02). South Side’s Kiara Kennedy placed first in the 100 backstroke (56.20).
Garden City captured the Nassau team title for the 21st consecutive season, scoring 476 points. The Trojans won the first event, the 200 medley relay, in a school-record time of 1:48.03. The previous record of 1:48.8 was set in 2017 at the county championship. Bellmore-Merrick finished second with a total of 407.5 points and Manhasset was third (372).
“This probably means more to me this year than any of the other years,” an emotional Garden City coach Anne Sullivan said. “My brother passed away on Halloween, and not only did he follow me in my swimming career, he was a big supporter of Garden City swimming. This meet was for him.”