The story of competitive swimming at Saint Stephen’s is dominated by one name – Ellie Berdusco. The four-time high school All-American (2011-14) holds seven SSES individual records and three as the member of relay teams. Now swimming at Notre Dame, Berdusco also owns the Falcons’ lone state swim/dive championship, winning the 500 freestyle in 2012.
Despite Berdusco’s prominence in the Saint Stephen’s record book, she isn’t the only Falcon who has made a name for herself in the pool. Allison Moon, who has the only school record on the girls side not credited to Berdusco – the 100 breaststroke – was a standout in the late 1990s and went on to an impressive career at the U.S. Naval Academy. Moon won nine Patriot League Championship relay titles, tying her for the most in Navy history. She was a three-time all-conference selection, and holds Academy relay records in the 200 medley, 400 medley, 200 freestyle, and 400 freestyle.
Hayley Tilton was a four-year letterwinner for the Falcons in the mid/late-2000s, and her name stood atop the record book in the 50 free, 100 free, 200 free relay, 200 medley relay, and 400 free relay. She was a two-time state finalist and went on to swim at Tulane University.
Recent teams have had success both in and out of the pool. Eight boys have qualified for the state championship meet over the past two seasons, and the 2016 boys team was honored by the FHSAA as state Academic Champions with a team GPA of 3.785.
The Falcons are coached by Sheri Hart, a state champion who set a national record in the 100 backstroke (eventually broken by Olympian Natalie Coughlin) as a high school swimmer in Ohio in 1989, and went on to become an All-American at the University of Southern California. She was an Olympic Trials finalist in 1988 and semi-finalist in 1992, and has set more than 20 world masters swim records.
The Falcons train at the G.T. Bray Aquatic Center, three miles from the Saint Stephen’s campus.
* Directions to G.T. Bray (from Saint Stephen’s) – Take Manatee Ave. west to 51st St. W. Take a left on 51st St. W. and follow through two (2) stop signs. G.T. Bray Park entrance will be 1/2 mile after the second stop sign on the right. Turn into park and follow signs to the pool. (Map)
Swimming/Diving is FHSAA sanctioned and is a fall season sport.