News Post

Boys Swim to 6th Straight NVL Title
Mark Jaffee, Waterbury Republican

Holy Cross High team captain Luciano D'Amelio simply desribed the Crusaders' boys swimming dynasty as "incredible."

D'Amelio and the Crusaders celebrated their sixth consecutive Naugatuck Valley League championship Tuesday after recording 934 points, outdistancing runner-up Naugatuck (744) and third-place Woodland (638) at Kennedy High.

"My teammates have continued to improve and grow," said D'Amelio. "It's because of our coaching staff (head coach Mary Racevicius, assistant Paul Leger and diving coach Conner Lautenschlager, a 2014 Watertown graduate). Everyone has been motivated to keep the streak going. I believe we deserve this with the work and effort that everyone has put in."

D'Amelio, and fellow captains Adam Fernandes, Anthony Ursini, Maracas Raceivicus and Thomas Pompei watched teammate Holy Cross junior Derek Fantano capture gold in two events, the 100 butterfly (53.77 seconds) and 100 backstroke (54.73).

"When I hit that first turn in the butterfly, I felt really strong," said Fantano. "I hadn't competed in the fly last year, but I wanted to change things up and try a wide variety. This year I've been pretty consistent."

Afterward, public address announcer Dave Heller proclaimed that Fantano is "the early favorite to win the John Reardon Award for the meet's outstanding performer in 2021."

"It was a great way to start the meet," said Scott. "We all gave it our best effort."

Said Woodland coach Tom Currier, "They started clicking Saturday trials (1:45.88). Today wasn't significantly better, but it was just enough."