Rainey’s Boys Swim Team Has Some Powerful Members

 Amity High School, Sports  Comments Off on Rainey’s Boys Swim Team Has Some Powerful Members
Dec 132012


Orange Live Sports Writer

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With only 18 on his roster, Amity boys’ swim Coach Todd Rainey does not have an abundance of numbers but looking at the personnel he does have on that roster, he certainly has an abundance of talent. Leading the way for the 2012-13 Spartan swim-men are senior Co-Captains Sam Guerra and Matt Cucurello. Guerra is a distance freestyler who qualified for the State Open as a junior. Last winter Cucurello was a Class LL finalist in both the 200-yard individual medley and the 2100 backstroke.

Other seniors on Spartan roster include: Jamie Huang (Class LL qualifier in the 50 and 100 free), Jacob Laser (State Open in the 50 and 100 free), Brian Liang (200 IM and the 100 butterfly), Dylan Swanepoel (State Open in the 200 and 500 free), Vlastislav Zabel (Southern Connecticut Conference qualifier in the 100 backstroke and free), and Cole Bodak (a first year diver).

Last year, Charlie and A.J. Pite both qualified for the State Open as sophomores.  Charlie qualified in the 100 butterfly and the free, while A.J. qualified in the 200[O1]  IM and the 100 breaststroke. Shaunak Pandit (SCC qualifier in the 100 breaststroke), Stephen Cheung (SCC Finalist in the 50 and 100 free as well as the 100 backstroke) and newcomer Eric Hansen (freestyle) are the Amity juniors.

Ben Bacal (200 and 500 free) and Alec Melotto (100 breaststroke) are both sophomores who were SCC Finalists as freshmen. Ben Clemens, David Wang, and  William Wang are freshmen freestylers.

Despite having Eric Holden and Kyle Lemere graduate in June, Rainey is hopeful that his team can come close or equal last winter’s 11-1 record, which earned the Spartans second place in the Southern Connecticut Conference. From there they went on to finish third in Class LL and fourth in the State Open.  

 According to Rainey (who starts his 18th year at the helm of the Spartans), “Fairfield Prep ran the table last year. They went undefeated, won the SCC, Class LL, and the State Open. They are very strong again this year and will be very tough to beat. We’ll be quite happy if we can do as well as we did last year.”

In addition to the Jesuits, Amity will have to contend with Cheshire, Branford, and Notre Dame in Division I of the SCC. Rainey went on to admit that his team is small but felt certain that it has its share of front line swimmers.

“We don’t have a lot of depth right now, but if our veteran guys can do what they did last year and our younger guys come along during the season to provide us some depth, we should be o.k.,” Rainey added.

Amity looks very strong in the 50 and 500 free, the 200 individual medley, and the 100 butterfly, but having only one diver and he being a senior with no previous experience could be a problem.

Rainey said, “I hope Cole is able to put some points on the board. He’s just a beginner but he is learning quickly.”

 The Black and Gold opened their season on Thursday, Dec. 13, with a 6:00 p.m. meet at Foran.