Friday, February 4, 2011
B.J. Giannone, High School Swimmer, Remembered Fondly in Pool of Tears
SCOTCH PLAINS, N.J. -- Before the swim meet between St. Peter's Prep and Scotch Plains Fanwood Thursday afternoon, they passed out sheets of paper on which were printed the words of a Psalm.
"... You lead me to streams of peaceful water,'' it said. "... I may walk through valleys as dark as death ... you fill my cup until it overflows."
It was not the typical program distributed before a high-school athletic event, but this was not a routine competition for the Marauders of an old Jesuit school in Jersey City.
Three days before, on Monday night, senior B.J. Giannone, 18, collapsed and died at poolside in a similar meet from what appeared to be cardiac arrest of an undetermined cause.
"We're not going to know for another month," his coach, Ryan Heffernan, said.
Instead of canceling or postponing their next meet, the swimmers decided to compete Thursday, Heffernan said, because their deceased teammate would have wanted it that way.