NT native helps U.S. pull upset at Deaf World Swimming Championships

August 19, 2011
Staff Reports The Tonawanda News

Scott Farrell made a whirlwind trip last weeek from New York City to Washington D.C. to Frankfurt, Germany to Coimbra, Portugal.

All the while, he had North Tonawanda on his mind.

Midway through the World Deaf Swimming Championships, Farrell posted to his Facebook page, “I want to say thank you to everyone back home who has supported and helped me to go to this special occasion that I have dreamed to compete at!!! All I can say at this momement is thank you again!!!”

That was before Farrell and teammates Marcus Titus, Scott Matchette and David Tolystka set a new American record in the 400 medley relay and helped Team USA beat out the favored Russians for the overall team trophy.

“No person in their right mind, except for the American swimmers themselves, believed the U.S. team had a chance to win this world championship,” national coach Bill Snape said in a news release.

“Considering that our U.S. swimmers won more medals (22) at this meet than at the last several combined, this trophy and title is akin to the U.S. men’s hockey triumph at the 1980 Winter Olympics. America should be very proud of these outstanding athletes.”

Farrell, who is entering his sophomore year at Rochester Insitute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf, claimed three medals in the event: silver in the 400 medley relay, and bronzes in the 400 and 800 freestyle relays. He also swam the 50 and 100 free events.

Having trained through a shoulder injury for the world championships, Farrell was determined to bring home a medal for his supporters in North Tonawanda, including more than 120 sponsors who created a 22-foot poster for him.

When Farrell’s flight out of New York City was canceled due to weather, he and his teammates drove overnight to Washington, D.C. so they could get overseas in time for the start of the event.

Farrell returns to RIT later this month where he was the MVP of the men’s swim team as a freshman. He has already qualified for the 2013 Deaflympics.

“Watch out for these swimmers in the 2013 Deaflympics,” Snape said. “The Americans have tasted victory and now are focused on continued improvement. This could be the beginning of a historic run of American swimming triumphs. I believe what sets us apart is the spirit, determination and camaraderie of the U.S. team.”

“This is the greatest honor, being a part of Team USA,” Farrell wrote on Facebook following the event. “This has been an unbelievable experience that I will never forget.”

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