Newsday's Julia Elbaba highlights the top athletes in girls swimming in the CHSAA in 2020. Credit: Newsday studio

Newsday swimmer of the year: Cavan Gormsen, Sacred Heart, So.

Sacred Heart swimmer Cavan Gormsen made 2020 a record-setting year.

Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and getting pool time for practice, Gormsen found a way to improve her times and capture Catholic League titles in the 200- and 500-yard freestyle events.

She set CHSAA records in both events, swimming the 200 freestyle in 1:46.18 and the 500 freestyle in 4:40.75. She was also a member of the winning 200 and 400-yard freestyle relays during an 11-race Spartan sweep.

"Cavan had remarkable times considering the shutdown and the lack of competition within the Catholic League this season," said Sacred Heart coach Mary White, in her 28th year. "I didn’t think anybody would break any records this fall season. And she had a relatively substantial lead in her events and wasn’t pushed. Performing to that level and with those times was really impressive. It was all on her."

Gormsen had previously broken the New York State record in the 500-yard freestyle and was a part of the winning the 400-yard freestyle and 200-yard medley relay teams at the 2019 championship meet.

"They were in complete shutdown in the spring and were only able to get back in the pool in June," White said. "I was totally shocked that she took six seconds off her time in the 500. To post such a phenomenal time left me in awe."

CHSAA top performers

Tess Howley, Sacred Heart, So.

She set a pair of league records in the preliminary races the day before the CHSAA championships in the 100 butterfly (52.33) and 100- backstroke (54.23). Howley would win both championship races in 52.69 and 54.73 seconds respectively at the Nassau Aquatic Center. She was also part of the winning 200 medley and 200 free relay teams.

Joan Cash, Sacred Heart, Sr.

She won the CHSAA 50 freestyle in 23.58 seconds and the 100 freestyle in 51.63 seconds at the championships at the Nassau Aquatic Center. She also contributed to the winning 200 medley and 400 freestyle relay teams.

Ariana Brattoli, Sacred Heart, Sr.

She won the CHSAA 200 individual medley in 2:11.62 and the 100-breaststroke in 1:08.17 at the finals at the Nassau Aquatic Center. Brattoli was also part of the winning 200 medley and 200 free relay teams.

Praise Okodogbe, St. John the Baptist, So.

She finished second in the 100-butterfly in 57.47 seconds and third in the 50 freestyle in 25.15 seconds in the CHSAA finals at the Nassau Aquatic Center. She helped the Cougars finish third in the team scoring.


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