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).
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).