RFA’s Griffin shines in pool

Published Nov 19, 2017 at 9:00am

The talk of the town this week is Haley Griffin.

She is a senior on the Rome Free Academy swim team and at the league championship meet she won the 50-yard freestyle and 100 backstroke and combined with Katerina Dragojevic, Katleynne Nash and Aryann Dolan to win the 200 medley relay. Haley also broke the 50 free school record, pool record and league record. To top off everything she qualified for states. She has had a senior year that is flat out amazing. Haley’s sectional finishes were second in the free and first in the 100 back for Class A schools. She finished fourth overall in Section lll in both events.

Some background on this outstanding athlete: she switched from gymnastics to swimming to become a diver and she dove for two years with some swimming. One day in sectional play in her sophomore year she hit the board on one of her dives. She is tough and continued in the competition, but didn’t return to diving after that.

She made the full switch to swimming in her junior year and the rest is history. Since then she has set league and RFA school records in the pool. Next year she plans to go on to college to major in marine biology and her top two choices are Boston University or Williams. 

Michelle Moore is the varsity swim boys and girls coach and is a physical education teacher at RFA. Haley is the second athlete Coach Moore has taken to states in her 16 years in the program. Dan DeBruin went in 2003. Haley is the first girl in 20 years to qualify for states in swimming from RFA.

Coach Moore had a great season finishing 13-2 overall and 12-2 in the tough Center State Conference. Her seniors are Jenna Smolinski, Kathleen Isherwood, Katelynne Nash and Haley. She will miss her seniors but has a group of young swimming stars ready to take their place.

Geek of the week: Ben McAdoo, the coach of my New York Giants. In my 50 years of being a Giant fan this is the most painful season ever.

Pick of the week: Notre Dame 27, Navy 27.  I love the Irish and Justin Davis is coaching for the Midshipmen.

Food of the week: Living in Charlotte during the winter months the store I miss the most is Stan’s Seafood. The fried haddock is a craving I have every Friday and no one makes it better than Stan’s.

Congratulations to Paxton Travis on signing a national letter of intent to play Division I lacrosse at Jacksonville University. Did you know his dad was an outstanding athlete at Rome Catholic High back in 1986? He played football, hockey and baseball for the Redwings and is one of Rome’s great guys. His sister Amanda is in our Rome Sports Hall of Fame. If your last name is Travis from Rome, New York it is assumed that you are going to be very athletic.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday: 

Thank God for dirty dishes, They have a tale to tell;
While others may go hungry, We’ve eaten very well.

With home, health and happiness, I shouldn’t want to fuss,
By the stack of evidence, God’s been very good to us.