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By Sophia Chiang, Swimming World College Intern
The 2016 NJSIAA swimming championships are scheduled to take place this Saturday and Sunday, 27-28 February at Gloucester County Institute of Technology (GCIT) in Glassboro, New Jersey.
Top seeded Scotch Plains Fanwood High School is the top seed in prelims for the first event, the 200 meter medley relay, in 1:46.72. If they drop time they are positioned to take out the previous state record time set by 2014’s Westfield High School (1:45.59) squad. Hillsborough High School (1:47.02) and Montgomery High School (1:47.58) will be hot on their tail, and this event really could be anyone’s game.
Parsippany Hills’s Danielle Isupa is the top seed in the 200 yard freestyle (1:47.37) followed by Haddonfield Memorial’s Sophie Fontaine (1:49.46). Isupa is less than 0.1 away from Kelsi Worrell’s 200 yard freestyle record (1:47.29) set back in 2012.
There seems to be a mistake in the psych sheet for the 200 yard individual medley, where Allyson Chain of Ocean City is seeded in 1:50.54, which would be three seconds faster than the national high school record. Her times reported elsewhere don’t reflect that speed, so the top seed is likely Caroline Gmelich of Trinity Hall (2:05.00). Ocean City’s Ryann Steyer is the top seed in the 50 yard freestyle (23.58) with Bridgewater’s Alex Gebel in 23.59.
Shore Regional’s Helen Grossman (55.53) is the top seed in the women’s 100 yard butterfly. Grossman is committed to LSU for next fall, and she’s likely to go on to do big things there. Seeded second is Colonia’s Monika Burzynska who is only a sophomore. Princeton’s Abbey Bercolo (50.03) is the top seed in the 100 yard freestyle, and Gebel could be out for her first, or possibly, second state title of the night seeded second in 51.01.
Ocean City’s Amanda Nunan is seeded first in the women’s 500 yard freestyle (4:54.64) and New Providence’s Erica Werth is in second (4:57.72).
Pingry High School’s women will look for their first relay state title of the night in the women’s 200 yard freestyle relay (1:37.14), and will need to fend of Scotch Plains Fanwood (1:37.26) as well as Bridgewater (1:38.22) in order to do it.
Gmelich will take another run at the state title in the 100 yard backstroke (55.25), and Fontaine will likely be hot on her heels, seeded in 55.31. Also close will be Jackson’s Anna Francisco (55.65). The women’s 100 yard breaststroke will be a fast final too, as Montclair’s Charlotte O’Leary (1:03.71) and Pingry’s Ingrid Shu (1:03.76) will duke it out.
The women’s 400 yard freestyle relay should be an interesting race too, with top seeded Hillsborough (3:32.56), Princeton (3:33.12), and Scotch Plains Fanwood (3:33.38) all in dead heat.
The men’s side of the meet is set to be equally exciting, with top seed Morristown High School (1:35.84) and Westfield High School (1:36.07) duking it out for the state title for the first event of the night, the men’s 200 yard medley relay.
In the first individual event of the meet, the men’s 200 yard freestyle, Tenafly’s Harrison Yi (1:41.37) currently holds the top seed, but in second is St Augustine Prep’s Luke Snyder (1:41.87) who is not far off Yi’s tail. In the next event, the men’s 200 yard individual medley, top seed, Teaneck’s Jason Arthur (1:48.64) is already seeded under the meet record (1:49.16), which happens to be his own record from last year. Seeded second is Millburn’s Chris Balbo (1:52.64).
New Providence’s David Hua is the top 50 yard freestyle seed in 21.31, followed up by Delran’s Ryan Pedrick (21.40). This event will be a close finish: within the top heat (8) there are two sets of same seeds, 21.64 (Morristown’s Owan Breslin and St Rose’s Liam Cosgrove) and in 21.65, Hillsborough’s Sam Hendrix as well as Roxbury’s Josh Decker.
The men’s 100 butterfly should be a pretty good race, too. Clear favorite is top seed from Moorestown Alex Martin (48.88), but other near top seeds Matthew Luciano of Mountain Lakes (50.21) and St Rose’s Cosgrove (50.93) will also be able to make runs at the state title. In the men’s 100 yard freestyle, Delran’s Pedrick is the top seed (46.55) with St Augustine Prep’s Matt Mahon (46.72) seeded second.
Morristown’s Ryan Waters (4:33.06) is the top seed going into the men’s 500 yard freestyle with Millburn’s Balbo seeded second (4:34.82). Also the top seed in the 200 yard freestyle relay, Morristown (1:27.90) will attempt to go after another relay title but will have to fend off Hillsborough (1:28.29) in order to do so.
Martin is again the top seed in the men’s 100 yard backstroke (48.72), proving his versatility. Watch out for him, this University of Michigan commit is going to do huge things in Ann Arbor, and you’ll certainly be hearing his name when NCAAs roll around next year. Seeded second is Egg Harbor’s Cristian Bell (51.23).
In the men’s 100 yard breaststroke, Scotch Plains Fanwood’s Chris Bondarowicz (56.53) will face off with Teaneck’s Arthur (57.30). That finish will lead nicely into the final event, the men’s 400 yard freestyle relay, where Mainland Regional High School (3:09.50) is the top seed with Bergen Catholic (3:13.39) close behind.
To view the psych sheets for the 2016 NJSIAA Swimming Championships this weekend, click here. We will be covering the meet’s final results here, so remember to check back.