A preview of the New Paltz summer swimming program

 Left to right: Delaney Pece, Ava DeMassio, and Abbie Santos. (Photos by Rich Corozine)

Dynasty? Is the word “dynasty” appropriate for the New Paltz SeaHawks, the summer DUSO (Dutchess Ulster Swim Organization) swimming program that has won 48-straight dual meets (that’s almost seven years undefeated) and six of the last seven DUSO Championships…last season by 280 points over second-place Red Hook. And this year doesn’t look to be any different.

It’s that great combination of old and new, with newcomer-champions like Ava Demassio (a triple winner last year in the 12-and-under 100 freestyle, 50 backstroke and 50 breaststroke) and Delaney Pece (doubling in the 10-and-under girls 50 breaststroke and 100 Individual Medley) joining the “veterans” like the Santos Sisters — Kaela and Abbie — solo winners in their umpteenth championship meet, the former in the 18-and-under girls 50 butterfly and the latter in the 18-and-under girls 100 IM (Kaela also will coach the SeaHawks again this year, along with Emily Benkert and head coaches Glenn LaPolt and Melissa Gruver-LaPolt).

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But there is more…returning are also Paige Wilson (winner in the 12-and-under girls 50 freestyle), Caden Salamone (winner in the 8-and-under boys 50 butterfly), Mary Therese Nikolski (winner in the 18-and-under girls 100 freestyle), Ashley Benkert (winner in the 14-and-under girls 50 butterfly) and Chad Catania and Andrew Valentino (half the winning 18-and-under 200 Medley relay team with the Santos Sisters)…plus other top-two finishers in Rowan Santos, Mike Messina, Renata Martinez, Omar Santos, Josie LaPolt, Alaura Sheeley, Kayla Cafaldo, Logan Pece and Josephine Laurie. The SeaHawks are deep, winning last year’s 8-and-under boys competition, 10-and-under girls, and 18-and-under girls.

The SeaHawks look loaded once again, with the first meet of the season at Rhinebeck on Saturday, July 7; then home against Zena on Wednesday, July 11; Rosendale away on Saturday, July 14; Red Hook at home on Wednesday, July 18; Hyde Park away on Saturday, July 21; Kerhonkson home on Wednesday, July 25; and Hurley home on Saturday, July 28…with the DUSO Championships at the refurbished Rosendale Pool Complex on Saturday, August 4 at 9 a.m. (rain-date is Sunday, August 5, same time).

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