July 28, 2003
The Weston Town Crier
Robert Dowd and Francesca Tocci, both 12 years of age and Weston residents, competed in the New England Championship this past weekend at Harvard University's Blodgett Pool. Both swimmers are members of the Bernal's Gator Swim Club, a USA sanctioned team located in Waltham.
Robert Dowd was awarded 5th place for the High Point Award (most points in the Championship) for winning a medal in all nine of the events in which he competed. His highlights included finishing 2nd in the 50 meter butterfly (:31.64), 100m butterfly (1:09.75), and the 200m butterfly(2:39.39). He placed 3rd in the 400m IM (individual medley- 5.55:38).
Francesca Tocci also qualified to compete in nine events receiving medals in seven. Francesca's highlights included finishing 4th in the 100 m freestyle (1:04.83), 5th in the 200m freestyle (2:21.78) and 6th in the 50m freestyle (30.16).
The Bernal Gators are coached by the renowned Joe Bernal. Coach Bernal, formerly Head Coach of Harvard University, was the United States Olympics Coach in 1984 and 1988. Additionally, Bernal coached the United States Team at the Pan American Games in 1991. Coach Bernal's past Olympians include Ray Carey ('96), Scott Jaffe and David Berkoff (both '96). In all, Bernal has coached six Olympians. High school seniors from Bernal Gators will be attending Harvard, Yale, Brown, Penn and Vanderbilt this coming fall.