POUGHKEEPSIE, New York, May 2. Marist added eight student-athletes to the incoming freshman class for the 2007-08 season. Brian Bolstad of Highland, N.Y., Thomas Byrnes of Rhinebeck, N.Y., Angelo Ciraolo of Grand Island, N.Y., Leo Draham of Blue Bell, Pa., Chris Fay of Fairfax County, Va., Matt Marrington of Farmington, Conn., Steven Vendetta of South Windsor, Conn., and Keith Miller of Missoula, Mont., will each join Marist next season.
"Following the graduation of a most successful senior class, this incoming class will be the largest and possibility most talented class in program history," said head coach Larry J. VanWagner.
Bolstad, the son of Marist Associate Head Coach for Diving Melanie Bolstad, will join the Red Foxes after diving for F.D. Roosevelt in Hyde Park, N.Y. He is a two-time Section IX Diving Champion. He is a two-time New York State Finalist in diving, finishing 12th in 2006 and sixth this past season. Bolstad is the Roosevelt school record holder for both six and 11 dive formats and was named a team captain for the 2007 season. Bolstad also competed for the Marist Diving Club and is the seventh alumni of the club to go on to compete for the Red Foxes. His addition will give the Red Foxes five divers, which is the largest in school history.
Byrnes will join the Red Foxes for the 2007-08 season as the sixth Marist Swim Club alum to go on to compete for the Red Foxes. Byrnes represented the Hudson Valley Region at the Empire State Games on three occasions. In 2004, he placed third in the scholastic 400-meter individual medley. In 2005, he placed third in both the scholastic 200-meter individual medley and the 200-meter backstroke. He was also a member of the 800-meter freestyle relay team that finished second. Last year he swam on the relay team which finished third. In 2007, Byrnes was the United States Achievement Academy Winner for Student Council, Leadership and an All-American Scholar Athlete.
Ciraolo will come to Poughkeepsie after a career at St. Joseph's Collegiate Academy in Buffalo, N.Y. While there, he was an eight-time All-Catholic winner, including being named MVP in 2004-05, 2005-06 and 2006-07. During the 2004-05 season, he was a New York State Qualifier in the 50 freestyle and the 400 free relay. The following season, Ciraolo was a state qualifier in the 50 and 100 freetyle, as well as the 100 butterfly. This past season, he was named team captain and posted league records in the 50 and 100 freestyle. Ciraolo went on to finish fifth in the 100 freestyle and ninth in the 50 free at the New York State High School Championships. Ciraolo was also a 2006 and 2007 Speedo Sectional Qualifier for the Grand Island Swim Club. In 2007, he was a participant in the USA Junior Short Course Nationals in Orlando, Fla.
Draham will join the Red Foxes from Wissahickon High School. He ended his high school career as the Wissahickon High school record holder in the 500 freestyle and part of the 200 freestyle relay team. Draham has been a Pennsylvania State Qualifier for the past three years and has been named an All-American as part of the 200 freestyle relay for the past two seasons. Draham also excels in the classroom and has been named an Academic All-American.
Fay swan for four years at Chantilly High School and was named captain during his senior campaign. Fay is a two-time Virginia sectional, super sectional and state qualifier. He is part of the 200 freestyle relay team that holds the Chantilly school record and in 2006, the team he anchored achieved All-American consideration and finished third in the state. As a senior, Fay placed sixth in the 50 freestyle in the fastest regional meet in Virginia State history.
Marrington will arrive in Poughkeepsie after a three-year varsity career at Farmington High School. Marrington was named team captain for the 2007 season and he is a three-time All-Nutmeg Swimming Conference Selection and a two-time All-Northwest Conference All-Academic Selection. He finished his career in the top-10 at Farmington High in the 100, 200 and 500 free, the 100 butterfly, the 100 back and splits in the 50 butterfly, 100 freestyle and 50 backstroke. He is the school record holder in the 50 butterfly split, the 100 butterfly and as a member of the school record 200 freestyle relay team.
Vendetta is coming off a high school career at South Windsor. In his senior season of 2007 he was a Connecticut Senior Open Finalist in the 50, 100 and 200-yard freestyle events and swam at the USA Speedo Sectional Championships at Harvard. In 2006, Vendetta was the Connecticut Class L State Champion in the 200-yard freestyle and was named Connecticut All-State in the 100-yard free. He was named to the All-Central Connecticut Conference Team in 2005 and was a state Top-16 swimmer in 1999 and 2001-07.
Miller will join the Red Foxes as coach VanWagner's top prospect and the first Marist swimmer ever recruited west of the Mississippi. As a junior as Missoula High School, Miller placed first in the 50 and 100-yard freestyle at the State High School Championships. As a senior, he went on to win the 50, 100-yard freestyle events at the state meet and was a member of the 200 and 400-yard freestyle relay teams that also took first place. Miller was also a member of the Western Zone Team from 2004-06 as part of the Missoula Aquatic Club. Swimming with the Aquatic Club, Miller was a State Meet Qualifier from 1997-2007, a USA Senior Sectional Qualifier from 2005-07 and a USA Junior National Qualifier in 2007. Miller closed out his high school career by being named the Loyola Sacred Heart Athlete of the Year.
Special thanks to Marist for contributing this report.