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Long Valley Swimmers Make Most of Junior Olympics Competition

SeaDragons send area swimmers to annual statewide event.

Members of the SeaDragons. Photo Courtesy Greg Sansone
Members of the SeaDragons. Photo Courtesy Greg Sansone

Being called a SeaDragon is a good thing, especially when you’re goal is to slice through the water faster than anyone else.

For three Long Valley teens, being a SeaDragon has amounted to amazing opportunities, including advancement to the Junior Olympics swimming competition at Rutgers University.

Andrew Giovone, 17; Robbie Ambrose, 16; and Tyler Sansone, 14, all qualified for the event after a season’s worth of hard work and training, achieving “gold” time standards in specific events.

Giovone qualified for the finals in the 100 and 200-meter breast stroke. Sansone, not yet in high school, qualified in the 1,650-yard freestyle event and has previously won first place in the 15 and under age group in the Triple Crown Series of Ocean Mile Races, held annually at the Jersey Shore.

The SeaDragons are a top regional team drawing swimmers ages five and up from towns throughout northwest New Jersey. They train from September to June at Centenary College, and are led by Long Valley’s Bill Giovine.

Giovine noted that to qualify for the Junior Olympics, swimmers train up to six times a week in the water, and strength-train on dry land as well. “These swimmers have demonstrated a commitment to training and a skill level that represents a lot of discipline and a lot of laps in the pool.  Congratulations to them, they are all talented swimmers and great kids who work exceptionally hard.”

Information and photo provided by Greg Sansone. 

fran sansone May 12, 2014 at 09:56 AM
Jason, Thanks for posting this, but the information I initially forwarded you included 3 SeadDragon girl swimmers as well: Sisters Sierra and Julia Castaneda. The Long Valley sophomore and freshman siblings are standouts on the SeaDragon team as well as on the West Morris swim and track squads. Rounding out the SeaDragon team from Long Valley was 12 year-old Sarah Bhargava. All these girls are state ranked in multiple events. Coach Giovine was right, these kids are all great swimmers! Congratulations to all of them for their hard work and accomplishments!
Paul Vinh May 12, 2014 at 10:42 PM
In fact, it is rather impressive when one realizes that the individual and relay record holders of the entire 24 events for both the boys and girls swim teams at WMC all trained with the Seadragons Swimming Club, at one time or another. Members of the 2014 graduating class in the WMC boys swim team, as a group, claim an astounding 7 of the 12 available records. While WMC swim team coaches actually help with the strategies and improve certain techniques during the short season, it is the long-term training on the fundamentals under coach Giovine of the Seadragons that brings home the records. More information on the Seadragons can be found here: http://seadragonsswimmingclub.weebly.com Full disclosure: my three children began swimming for the Seadragons when they were as young as 8, 7 and 5, respectively. By the way, the Seadragons throw the BEST year-end banquet.

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