Every senior on the Bishop Hendricken swim team faces the pressure of extending the Hawks’ run of consecutive state titles. No one wants to be the class that doesn’t continue the tradition.
For Mike Fedorenko and his teammates, after the very first dual meet of the season, they were faced with the reality that they might be the class that comes up short.
Instead, they responded in dominating fashion.
After losing the first meet of the season to North Kingstown – the program’s first dual meet loss since 2005-06 – the Hawks rolled through the rest of the regular season before capping it off with a 24th consecutive state championship.
“Right from the beginning, we lost that first meet,” Fedorenko said. “We haven’t lost a dual meet in like five years. Everyone was telling us that weren’t going to be able to keep the streak going. We worked hard as a team. We came together.”
Fedorenko was at the forefront. The senior captain had Hendricken’s best two individual finishes at the state meet, coming in second place in both the 100 and the 200 freestyle events.
He also swam anchor on the Hawks’ first-place 4x400 and 4x200 relay teams. Essentially, Fedorenko did it all, claiming four All-State selections in the process and cementing his place in Hendricken’s decorated swimming history.
That 4x200 relay had such a strong showing that it fell barely short of setting a new state record.
“He was a great inspirational leader on our team,” Hendricken head coach Dave Hanson said.
Fedorenko was a four-year contributor on the varsity team, and he graduates with four team state titles under his belt and the knowledge that he helped keep the fabled streak alive.
“Everyone kept coming up to me, all the kids from NK,” Fedorenko said. “They would say ‘This is it, it’s all over for you guys.’ Boris from NK, he thought it was all over. The kids from Smithfield thought they were going to beat NK and Hendricken. Even though some people said we were the favorites, it was still up for grabs. After the 100 freestyle it was like, ‘Okay, it’s over.’”
Next season, Fedorenko will continue swimming at Division III University of Rochester.