By Ally Faktor
Both boys and girls swim teams were victorious at the State Championship swim meet last Sunday. The girls, with an undefeated season record for the second year in a row, beat Cherry Hill West with a final score of 89-81. The boys triumphed over Bridgewater-Raritan to win their twenty-third state championship—the most state titles in New Jersey history—with a final score of 86-84.
The girls swam first, supported by a packed royal blue balcony of Westfield students, parents, faculty and fans.
WHS girls started out strong with the 200 medley relay, which set the tone for the meet.
According to senior Tri-Captain Loren Ball, "The win really motivated the team and proved that we are capable of anything."
In the 200 free, sophomore Sarah Cronin broke the school record with a time of 1:51.21, finishing in second place. Sophomore Caroline Baldwin also lowered her own record in the 100 back, winning the race with a time of 55.97.
The girls were able to maintain the lead up until the second to last event. They had a 12 point lead going into the 100 breast, but then fell behind by 2 points after Cherry Hill West took first, second and third place in this event. This meant the meet would come down to the final event, the 400 free relay.
Knight said, "We wanted to make sure that we had all of the pieces in place for us to come out on top if it came down to it."
The relay team of Cronin, junior Ellie Reinhardt, and sophomores Lauren Schmeider and Baldwin solidified the girls state championship title with a time of 3:33.37.
Said Ball: "It was incredibly exciting to win a state title for the third year in a row. We have an incredibly talented team and we all have worked extremely hard this season so it was great to see all of the work pay off."
The excitement from the girls’ win continued into the next meet, as the boys began warm-ups hoping to earn the same celebration.
Senior Tri-Captain Alex Bond said: "I think the girls winning again this year made the boys want the win that much more. It created pressure for us to match their performance."
The WHS boys team came into the meet with a 15-2 season record. It was a back-and-forth battle between Bridgewater and WHS, as the two teams continuously alternated the leading position.
In the 50 free, Bond swam a personal best time of 22.47, finishing in second place. Freshman Stephan Husch and senior Kevin Oster followed quickly behind in third and fifth place respectively, with times of 22.49 and 22.71.
The boys regained the lead in the 500 free, with senior Tri-Captain Brennan Haley finishing first with a time of 4:52.23 and freshman John Lindros taking second, giving him a personal best time of 4:54.19.
After the 100 breast, WHS trailed by 4 points, making first and third place in the 400 free relay necessary for the win.
The relay team of sophomore Luke McGrory, Lindros, Haley and junior Matt Daniel placed first with a time of 3:18.43 and the team of Oster, Bond, senior Matt Trinkle and junior Max Shin placed third, finishing with a time of 3:24.13, securing the boys’ state title.
Said Bond, "The boys swam their best ever by breaking the school powerpoint record, 4830, to become the fastest team in WHS history and dethroning Bridgewater, who had won the previous two years in a row for the state title."
Said Head Coach Jeff Knight: "[Both] were truly team wins; everyone contributed and it shows in the final result.... Everybody’s swim mattered."