by Emily Miller
The girls swim team defeated Kent Place 101-69 in the first home meet of the year at the Westfield YMCA on Dec. 8. The 400 freestyle relay of freshman Katherine Duffy, sophomores Caroline Baldwin, Allie McBrearty and Julia Diamantopolous, came in first place with a time of 3:56.33.
According to senior Tri-Captain Loren Ball, numerous swimmers had personal best times at the meet. McBrearty, sophomore Kathleen Bond and junior Becky Zhang took the top 3 spots in the 200 free, while Ball placed first in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:16.73. "Our hard work is paying off.... Everyone seems to have a positive mentality, which will keep us moving forward," Ball said.
The girls team is focusing on winning state and county titles, according to Assistant Coach Mike Schwebel. Ball said: "Although we lost a number of amazing seniors, we still have an extremely talented team. As long as everyone steps up to the plate, we’ll definitely be holding a trophy in February."
On the same day, the boys swim team dominated Oratory Prep with a score of 124-46. In the 400 freestyle relay, seniors Brennan Haley and Rich O’Connor, junior Connor Moore and freshman Alec Penn came in first with a time of 3:39.80.
According to Schwebel, swimmers are put in off-events and unique relay combinations to test their levels of versatility and establish the strongest lineup. Senior Tri-Captain Alex Bond said, "Less challenging meets like this one really serve as a proving ground for the underclassmen vying for spots in the starting lineups of more competitive meets."
According to senior Kevin Oster, the freshmen are a key component to the team this year. With a time of 5:33.25 in the 500 freestyle, freshman Jack Rose swam a close race with Oratory Prep’s Michael Skinner, but was touched out in the end. Freshman Kevin Clauss came in first in the 200 IM at 2:18.00 and freshman John Lindros came in first in the 200 free with a time of 1:57.75.
For now, the boys are training hard for counties. Bond said, "We hope to build on the momentum from our 3-0 start in the upcoming weeks, where we will be facing rival teams Summit, Bridgewater and SPF."
Today, they will swim against Bridgewater-Raritan at home at 2:30 p.m.