Fordham Prep swim team maintains gold standard of excellence, brotherhood

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One of the most successful high school sports teams in the Bronx is looking to cap off an undefeated season Tuesday night as Fordham Prep swimming and diving has its regular season finale.

Fordham Prep has a tough weekly schedule that includes nine practices and two lifts, but it has equated to a program in its second decade as one of the most dominant in the CHSAA, and even the state.

Ajani Isles' story is similar to dozens of Fordham Prep swimmers over the last 20+ years. He wasn't always laser focused on the sports, but now he's a state meet qualifier in the 100-meter backstroke.

The man who has shaped the success is Dominick Galimi, a graduate of Fordham Prep who was a record-breaking swimmer in his days in the pool.

"Coach Dom has been an influence on my whole family ... he's done so much for us, he's relatable, he kept me focused, he really helped me with my transition to high school," says senior swimmer Chris Torres.

Torres is the second person in his family to swim for Prep -- his older brother Nick helped lead the Rams to the state federation championship when he was a sophomore, and now swims for Notre Dame, where Chris will join him next year.

The 2017 title was the most recent of seven state federation championships for Fordham Prep, along with 12 CHSAA championships. But those who are part of the program will say that it's about more than winning that makes it special.

"This team has such a great bond, it's really a brotherhood," says swimmer Claudio Galea. "We all look forward to coming to practice, swimming together, getting better, always pushing each other, and it's great. It's going to be sad to leave."

Prep faces undefeated St. Anthony's next with a regular season title on the line.



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