The CBA swimming team has become synonymous with success during the last six years, after all, they have won every non-public state championship since 2010.
But the Colts have shown they don’t just focus on lap times or the wins, they have also displayed that through all their success, they haven’t lost what makes CBA athletes special: a knack for giving back to their community.
On the eve of one of their biggest regular season meets, much of the CBA swimming team was in Jersey City volunteering at St. Lucy’s Emergency Shelter on Monday night.
A former CBA swimmer, Dr. Peter Economou ’98, is one of the lead volunteers at the shelter and head coach Vito Chiaravalloti took his current team up to lend a hand to his one-time CBA teammate.
The swimmers, with Chiaravalloti, coach Steven Muller and Bro. Tim Ahern, helped pass out Christmas presents and serve meals to the less fortunate.
“More than just great swimmers, these young men are selfless,” Chiaravalloti said. “I am more pround of the young men they are becoming than I ever will be for what they accomplish in the pool. They inspire me to be a better coach and mentor to them.”
After an evening of giving back, the Colts were at La Salle University on Tuesday, facing the four-time defending Pennsylvania non-public state champions in La Salle College High School.
In a meet that Chiaravalloti dubbed “one of the most dramatic finishes to a swim meet” he has ever been apart of, CBA beat La Salle, 86.5-83.5, in the final race of the meet.
In the last 400 free relay, the Colts needed to take at least second and third to win the meet. As the race progressed, La Salle’s “A” relay was securely in first and CBA’s “A” relay was going to finish second. The race came down to who would finish third and La Salle had a two body-length lead as the last lap approached.
Junior John Shea, anchoring the CBA “B” relay team, made an unbelievable comeback in the final 50 meters to touch out La Salle by 0.68 seconds, taking third place and winning the meet for the Colts.
The win over La Salle showed the resilience of the CBA team. Just a week earlier, CBA lost to prep school power, Peddie, in a meet where the Colts broke three school records. Instead of hanging their heads, the CBA rallied to earn a signature regular season victory.
But as the team continues on their quest for their seventh straight state title, their work on Monday night at the shelter truly demonstrates what it means to be successful CBA athletes.