Jim Lamastra Remembers Tom Smolinski

I sincerely ask you to support the  Tom Smolinski Scholarship on Giving Day on Wednesday February 24! By doing so you will provide more scholarships for the CSU Swim-Dive Teams.  Please read why it means so much to me. #csugivingday

During our time at CSU, we were taught how to exhibit toughness and a will to win on a daily basis. No individual on this planet defined those qualities more than Tom!

As a personal friend since our high school days in the Buffalo NY area, I wanted to share a quick memory of Tom.

First off, Tom was a legend in the western New York diving community for several years. As such, when I got to know him, he was an established “star” who I was a little intimidated to meet.

Our first meeting took place during a dual meet between our rival high schools. Up to this point in time, I did not appreciate what athleticism a diver could display and Tom was the first I had seen with his skill level. By the end of that first personal encounter I was Tom’s biggest fan. We immediately became good friends and ended up running in the same social circles for the rest of our high school days.

At the end of our senior seasons, he and I had the good fortune to be roommates at the NY State swimming and diving championships. It was there that I got to truly see what a fun spirited kid Tom was. The University of Rochester pool deck lit up when Tom was on deck. He had an amazing ability to connect with swimmers, divers and coaches from the entire state. It was no surprise that Tom was being heavily recruited by major NCAA division 1 programs.

Unfortunately Tom had a little too much fun that last high school season and decided to focus on his studies at a local community college rather than continue his diving career. We continued to stay in touch when I went off to study and swim at CSU in the Fall of 1993.

Tom went on to have a great career at CSU as a key part of two Conference Championship Teams! He was a winner in every way.

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