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.