SeaHawks return as DUSO champions

Ashley Benkert: double winner over Hurley. (photo by Rich O’Corozine)

Yes, it’s Summer at Moriello Pool, and the SeaHawks are back…with a vengeance. Last year’s runaway DUSO champions (undefeated at 6-0 in the dual-meet season and winners by 300 points in the league finale last August) return nearly everyone from last season, including double titlists Abigail Santos (who also was one leg of the DUSO record-setting 200 Mixed Medley with Stephen Delarede, Grace Nikolski and Aodhan Fogarty) and Sammy Marshall, as well as record-setting (in the 50 backstroke) Tadju Trzewik-Quinn, as well as Sean Geisler, Shawn Migliorato, Sari and Joe Richards and Matt Valentino. All got the gold at last season’s championships at Red Hook and all return (except Hunter Bartlett, who won the 100 breaststroke but is now at Michigan State) and helped the SeaHawks swim rough-shod over Hurley this past Saturday (428-181) in the season-opener for both squads.
Also returning are long-time coaches Glen and Melissa (Gruver) LaPolt, with long-time New Paltz swimming star Luke Strothenke, and co-coach at SUNY-New Paltz, Melissa Rodriguez (in her first Summer with the team). The SeaHawks can throw 210 kids into the competition, and, according to Strothenke and Glen LaPolt, are “strongest at 12-and-under boys and girls, 14-and-under boys and girls, and 18-and-under boys”…in other words: essentially everywhere. “We won everything last year and I’d be surprised if we didn’t again,” said Strothenke, emphasizing the team’s all-around depth. “But Red Hook is always good, and this year Kerhonkson could challenge,” said LaPolt. “They have a lot of good swimmers out of Kingston on this year’s team and have been improving every year.”
And it was some of the usual suspects who led the SeaHawks over Hurley, with  Tadju Trzewik-Quinn (9-10 boys), Sari Richards (11-12 girls) and Matt Valentino (13-14 boys) triple winners, along with Nick Catania (11-12 boys), Kaela Santos (13-14 girls) and Caroline Murphy (13-14 girls). Double winners were Sammy Marshall (9-10 boys), Ashley Benkert (9-10 girls), Abigail Santos (11-12 girls), Chad Catania (11-12 boys), Mark Strothenke (15-18 boys) and Matt Hasbrouck (15-18 boys). Solo winners were Shawn Migliorato (13-14 boys), Sean Geisler (11-12 boys), Martin Desmery (13-14 boys), Ben Nadareski (15-18 boys), Kendall Lucchesi (under-8 girls), Lydia Brutvan (9-10 girls), Patrick Murphy (9-10 boys), Andrew Valentino (13-14 boys) and Jackson Beveridge (15-18 boys).
The DUSO league is made up of the SeaHawks, Red Hook, Kerhonkson, Hurley, and teams from Rhinebeck, Zena and Hyde Park.
The SeaHawks schedule has New Paltz at Rhinebeck on Saturday, July 7 at 9 a.m.; Zena at New Paltz on Wednesday, July 11 at 5 p.m.; Rosendale (who has no home pool this season due to lining problems on their pool at the Rosendale Rec Center on Route 32 and is practicing at the Wiltwyck Country Club and will have home meets at Moriello when the SeaHawks are away) is at New Paltz on Saturday, July 14 at 9 a.m.; Red Hook is at New Paltz on Wednesday, July 18 at 5 p.m.; New Paltz is at Hyde Park on Saturday, July 21 at 9 a.m.; Kerhonkson is at New Paltz on Wednesday, July 25 at 5 p.m.; and the following Saturday, July 28 is the DUSO Championships, held for the first time at the Ulster County Pool by the Fairgrounds. Starting time is 9 a.m.