By Kathryn Kwapniewski, Staff Writer
At the completion of the 400 Freestyle Relay, the final event of the NJSIAA Non-Public B Championship Swim Meet at The College of New Jersey on Feb. 20, the Trinity Hall swimmers burst into celebration. Not only had they captured the first NJSIAA Swimming State Championship title for Trinity Hall, but also the school’s first state title in any varsity sport.
Swimming against their rival competitors, Villa Walsh, the Monarchs gained and maintained their lead from the opening event, finishing with a victorious score of 100-70.
“We really had a lot of team spirit and support throughout the meet, and as it got closer to the end, when we knew there was no way we could lose, we all got excited and even more pumped than before,” sophomore Lauren Joyce said.
The team had been preparing for this moment throughout their season and were ecstatic to finally reach their goal. “We had set some season-long goals before our regular high school meet season started, and winning Non-Public B State Champs was our final and hardest goal to achieve from the list,” junior Lily Scott said. “We knew we each had to put in the work to get to where we wanted to be by the end of the season. This team is really something special.”
The girls celebrated their victory by throwing coaches Alyssa Morreale and Erin O’Malley into the pool with the entire team jumping into the water behind them.
“Reaching our goal of winning States a year earlier than we expected was very exciting and rewarding,” Morreale said. “I am so proud of how the whole team competed and came together to achieve this major milestone for the school and for the team.”
In fact, this was the second milestone for the team this season, as they also won the school’s first NJISAA (Prep) State Championship title in the B Division on Feb. 3 at The Lawrenceville School by racking up 169 points to outscore runner-up Villa Walsh (103.5 points) and third-place Pennington School (49 points). Junior Caroline Gmelich was named Swimmer of the Meet for the B Division for winning the 200 Individual Medley then setting both the meet and pool records in the 100 Backstroke. Junior Malia Wolf also won both of her individual events – the 100 Butterfly and 200 Freestyle.
The swim team hopes to keep winning more titles for Trinity Hall by adding more depth to build on their talent and speed. They hope to repeat as Non-Public B State Champions and Prep State Champions, and aspire to add Monmouth County and Shore Conference titles to their accomplishments in the near future.