Swimmers Prepare to Make a Splash at OFSAA

Swimmers Prepare to Make a Splash at OFSAA in Toronto
Posted on 02/14/2024

By Larry Moko
Swimmers from six Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic high schools will be advancing to this year’s OFSAA swimming championships in Toronto.

Representatives from St. John Henry Newman, St. Mary, Bishop Ryan, Bishop Tonnos, St. Thomas More and St. Jean de Brébeuf all bettered OFSAA qualifying times Tuesday. They were competing at the Golden Horseshoe Athletic Conference meet at the McMaster University pool.

St. Mary Crusaders coach Phil Hunks said his swimmers were impressive against the opposition from the Halton schools.

“Our boys’ relay did a personal best,” Hunks said. “They cracked the 4-minute barrier. They went in at 4:02 and did a 3:58, which is significant for them.”

That group – Joseph Giammichele, Thomas Giammichele, Tavian Augustus and Noah Beaudoin -- finished second in the men’s 13-19 400m freestyle relay. Their time was 3:58.34.

“We had a number of swimmers that qualified for four OFSAA events, but they’ll have to scratch one because they can only swim three at OFSAA,” Hunks added. “We’re pretty pleased with their overall performance.”

St. Mary entrants who made the grade provincially in individual races included Joseph Giammichele along with his brothers Thomas and Charles.

Joseph qualified in the 200 freestyle (2:09.48) and 200 IM (2:26.48), while Thomas bettered the standard in the 200 IM (2:29.71) and the 100 breaststroke (1:16.13).

Charles, one of the Giammichele triplets, won the mixed 100 freestyle (1:14.56).

Tavian Augustus advanced in the 100 backstroke (1:08.52), while his St. Mary teammate Noah Beaudoin made the standard in the 100 IM (1:06.76) and the 100 butterfly (1:04.03).

Another St. Mary performance that met the OFSAA requirement was by John SanMartin Puig in the men’s 13-19 backstroke (1:09.52).

Joseph and Thomas Giammichele along with Beaudoin and Augustus also stroked to 2:04.18 finish in the 200 medley relay to earn advancement.

Bishop Ryan coaches Kristen Carson and Dahlia D’Intino were pleased with the efforts of the Celtic contingent.

“Our boys’ 200 freestyle relay team was definitely an unexpected qualification,” D’Intino said. “We’re super happy for them.”

That 15-and-over group included Ethan Smiliie, Nick Walton, Domenic Gazzola and Cyrus Orbulescu (2:05.61).

In addition, Gazzola and Smiliie each qualified in the 50 butterfly event (29.84 and 31.57 respectively).

“I went out there and tried my hardest,” said Gazzola, a Grade 12 student who placed second overall and qualified for provincials in the 200 freestyle (2:20.55). “I expected to make the time.”

Gazzola participated at OFSAA last year, but in the 50 fly and 100 IM.

As for other H-W Catholic schools, Newman got qualification times from C. Sophia in the women’s 13-19 200 freestyle (2:27,43) and the 100 IM (1:16.91). Kyle Lukezic of Newman placed first in both the mixed 50 freestyle (31.42) and 50 backstroke (35.63), while G. Bruno beat the OFSAA clock in the men’s 13-19 50 freestyle (26.79).

The Newman girls’ 13-14 200 freestyle relay team – F. Anya, M. Ruth, B. Alesia and P. Elizabeth -- will also get to compete at the next level thanks to their 2:34.56 clocking.
Brébeuf, More and Tonnos each saw one of their athletes go through. They were: C. Lauren, Tonnos, women’s 13-19 100 breaststroke (1:23.75); Connor Woodworth, More, boys’ 15-and-over 100 freestyle (1:01.98); Erick Selvanayagam Quintan, Brebeuf, boys’ 13-14 100 freestyle (1:08.77).

The OFSAA championships are March 5-6 at the Pan Am Sports Centre.  

Photos by Bob Butrym, RFB Sport Photography

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