By Nicole LoRusso, Editor-In-Chief
The varsity swim team, comprised of both experienced and inexperienced swimmers, worked together to have another successful season this winter. By finishing second at both the Monmouth County Championships and at the NJISAA Prep “B” State Championships, the young swimmers showed just how well they can compete against teams with juniors and seniors.
“I am pleased and proud of how the team performed this season,” said head coach Alyssa Morreale. “Swimmers who were new to the program this year improved both their skills and speed, while returning swimmers continued to progress and make important contributions.”
Although the team did not have their own swimming pool or consistent place to practice, the girls remained committed and managed to work with the complicated schedule. Despite these challenges, the swimmers helped each other stay motivated to reach their individual and team goals.
“The whole team kept me motivated because we all wanted to do well this season and, in order to do so, we all had to perform to our best ability,” said sophomore Abigail Marcin, who swims for both Trinity Hall and a club swimming team. “The coaches also did a great job keeping everyone optimistic even after a bad race.”
When asked about the team’s success in the County and Prep State Championship meets, Marcin said, “As much as I would have liked to have gotten first, second was a huge accomplishment and we surprised a lot of people. I think next year we have a real shot at first for both competitions.”
In the NJSIAA Team State Non-Public B Championships, the Monarchs advanced to the semi-finals by easily defeating St. Rose 112-58 before losing to perennial powerhouse Pingry 76-94.
“While placing second at Monmouth Counties and Prep States were definitely highlights, our phenomenal victory over St. Rose in the State Team tournament was the result of true team effort and showed our progress this season,” Morreale said.
In addition to these team achievements, five swimmers qualified for this year’s Meet of Champions: Sophomores Caroline Gmelich, Isabelle Pabon, Lily Scott and Malia Wolf, and freshman Lauren Joyce. Gmelich placed fourth in the 100 Backstroke and seventh in the 200 IM, while the relay team of Wolf, Scott, Pabon and Gmelich earned 17th place in the 400 Freestyle Relay. Gmelich was also selected to this year’s All-State Third Team in the 100 backstroke by NJ.com.
When asked about her accolades this season, Gmelich was quick to credit her teammates and highlight the team’s achievements. “I am extremely proud and honored to be a part of such a wonderful team and to have the support from my teammates that I love so much,” Gmelich said. “Our spirit has shown in every meet and every swim. Our team’s success has progressed significantly throughout this season. I look forward to next year and the progress to come.”