It is always emotional when student-athletes share a moment on “Senior Day” with friends, family and loved ones.
And with added significance, the team capped off the regular season by beating the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in a convincing manner, 238-62.
A week after claiming a fourth consecutive New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) title and dominating the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy this past Saturday, the team will enter a two-week break with optimism and high confidence levels, and then the Metropolitan Championship (METs) competition.
“I think for us this year, we are excited to know the season isn’t over yet,” Head Coach Elise Blaschke said. “In years past, we were always fighting for spots to get to the end of the season, and right now these dual meets have been preparing us for the end of the season … we are not fearing too much of what is to come, we are performing with excitement.”
The team combined for a total of 14 first-place finishes that included individual events and relays.
Senior Carlee Timmins notched two first-place finishes in the 500 and 1000 freestyles.
“We did great, especially since we are racing to see where we will be at the end of the season,” Timmins said. “A lot of girls put out good times like Emily [LaBenski] and Veronica [Alferez], very proud of them.”
NJAC’s swimmer of the week and senior Emily LaBenski took two additional first-place finishes in the 200 butterfly and 200 breaststroke.
Rising junior Veronica Alferez highlighted two first-place finishes in the 200 free and the 200 individual medleys.
The two-week break will allow swimmers to prepare with more intense training sessions for METs.
“We are further preparing on how to race. They are becoming more race-ready and they understand what their own personal race strategy is,” Blaschke said. “But more than anything, I have seen a lot of team camaraderie in the last couple meets, which is building up the women’s program for bigger success for the METs and nationals.”
With METs in two weeks, swimmers will have the opportunity to showcase their talent to earn an individual tournament bid to the national stage.
In other words, their racing times will speak for themselves and provide the recognition they deserve.
“Nationals is always the goal,” Timmins said. “It’s just impressive for our program just to have swimmers to make it to nationals. Brad [Bowser] and Elise [Blaschke] gives us the tools for us to make it and it’s a great honor.”
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