• Dan Russoman

Stingrays end successful summer season

Several swimmers win awards, compete at SSA Championships


Hammonton’s Isabelle McCloud competes in the individual medley at last weekend’s SSA Championships. (THG/Dan Russoman.To purchase photos in The Gazette, call (609) 704-1940.)

HAMMONTON—A year after their entire season was canceled, the Hammonton Stingrays celebrated the end of a successful 2021 campaign with an awards celebration on July 28 at the Hammonton Swim Club.


All 73 Stingray swimmers were recognized at the ceremony, which celebrated their participation, dedication and commitment to the season.


Several swimmers earned “High Point Awards” which recognized those who earned the most total points during the season. The top three swimmers by gender were: male—Giovanni Catania (first), Massimo Catania (second) and Evan Kiss (third); female—Glyza Canovas (first), Everly Husta (second) and Grace Gribbin (third).


Improvement awards, indicated by gold, silver and bronze, were awarded to each swimmer based on the number of “speeding tickets” they earned during the season. A swimmer earns a “speeding ticket” each time they post a better time in a particular stroke. Recipients of the Most Improved Swimmer award were two first-year Stingrays, R.J. Rizzo and Lyla Cassidy.


Also at last week’s ceremony, the inaugural Robert Ruberton Most Valuable Swimmer Award was presented to five members of the team. This is an award that was designed to award top male and female swimmers based on an equal weighting of the combination of four criteria:  attendance (practices/meets), improvement and overall performance throughout the season.  Recipients of this award for 2021 were Isabella Falciani, Jordan Fatato, Grace Gribbin, Adriel Montecillo and Kyle Muller.


The Comeback Kid Award for 2021 was presented to 7-year-old Ethan Wilson.  Ethan broke his arm shortly before the season began, and wasn’t able to swim until mid-July, missing the first two meets of the season. He came back strong at the end of the year, swimming well in the last three meets and earning a spot in the championship meet.


The Annamae Jacobs Memorial Award, which is given to one swimmer each season to recognize their outstanding commitment to the sport of swimming as well as their dedication and loyalty to the team, was awarded to Isabelle McCloud. The award also honors the memory of Jacobs, a former coach who passed away in 2018 at the age of 60.


The Coach John Bohanna Memorial Award is presented to one swimmer each year in appreciation of their exceptional leadership in serving as a role model to teammates and their dedication to the swim team. It honors the memory of “Coach Bo,” who impacted the lives of many of his swimmers during his lifetime. Bohanna died at the age of 36 in 2002 after battling pancreatic cancer. A United States Marine veteran, Bohanna served as a swim instructor, coach and lifeguard at many area swim clubs. This year’s recipient of the award was Analiese Bova.


Last weekend, the Suburban Swim Association of South Jersey (SSA) held its annual championship meet at the Dolphin Swim Club in Vineland. Thirty-one Stingrays participated at the event. Analiese Bova, in her final season with the Stingrays, was honored by the league with its 2021 SSA Coaches Award, which is voted on by the 12 head coaches in the league and presented to a swimmer who has shown outstanding achievement in team spirit, dedication, personal effort and sacrifice.


In the pool, Jordan Fatato placed second in the female 9-10 25 backstroke and eighth in the butterfly. Everly Husta was fourth in both the 8-and-under freestyle and butterfly. Dominic Cushinotto placed seventh in the male 8-and-under butterfly. See page 61 for all the Stingrays’ top-10 finishers and a list of all the swimmers who competed last weekend.