By Grace Kenney, Layout Editor
Following a 7-2 regular season record, the Monarch swimmers continued their success into the championship season as they upheld the tradition laid by the graduated inaugural class with their third consecutive state titles in both the NJSIAA Non-Public B and the NJISAA “Prep” B championships.
Given last year’s incredible success, which included both state titles plus conference and county championships, this was a year of rebuilding for the Monarchs in order to prove the depth of the team. “While the talent and experience on the team has brought a lot of success, we have been able to build off of this talent through new swimmers filling out the roster to solidify our wins,” said head coach Alyssa Morreale, who is assisted by Katie Gillen and Allison Duffy.
After a second-place finish in the Monmouth County meet in January, the Monarchs made a strong showing in the even more competitive Shore Conference meet on Feb. 3, where they placed fourth overall and the 400 freestyle relay of freshmen Jess Zebrowski and Ainsley Gmelich, sophomore Maddie Condon and senior co-captain Lauren Joyce placed first.
Exceeding expectations, the Monarchs won its third straight B division Prep School State Championship on Feb. 3 at the Lawrenceville School by over 100 points. While Joyce secured a first place win in the 200 freestyle and Condon in the 100 backstroke, sophomore Katie Wright, Condon, Gmelich and Joyce earned 2nd in the 400 freestyle relay. Additionally, Gmelich individually placed 2nd in the 500 freestyle.
Keeping this high intensity and excitement, the top-seeded Monarchs easily beat Gloucester Catholic in the Non-Public B State Semi-Finals on Feb. 19 with a score of 108-62 to advance to the finals at The College of New Jersey on Feb. 25 to face second-seeded Newark Academy.
Remarkably, the Monarchs had a clean sweep in all 11 events. Condon (100 free, 100 back), Joyce (200 free, 100 breaststroke), Wright (200 IM, 500 free) and Zebrowski (50 free, 100 fly) were all double-winners while all three relay teams finished first as well. With an impressive 1-2-3 finish in the 200 I.M. by Wright, freshman Courtney Cushman and junior Ava Lynch, as well as a 1-2 finish in the 200 free relay, the Monarchs’ added to their lead from start to finish to win by a score of 117-53.
Four swimmers represented Trinity Hall at the prestigious Meet of Champions on March 3 and 4 at GCIT. Joyce, Gmelich, Condon and sophomore Bailey Powers placed 21st in the 400 freestyle relay and 40th in the 200 freestyle relay. Individually, Gmelich placed 40th in the 500 freestyle while Joyce finished her high school swimming career by placing 17th in the state in the 200 freestyle and 18th in the 500 freestyle.
“The team has truly been brought together by winning the championship for three consecutive years,” Joyce said. “There is no greater feeling than continuing a legacy left from the seniors last year and leaving it behind for the rest of the team.”