Swimming: Mounties prep for county championships this Monday
COURTESY VALERIE SMITH
by Andrew Garda
So far, things have gone well this season for Montclair High School’s swim teams. Both the boys and the girls have compiled records of 6-1 so far, with the girls’ only loss coming against West Orange, and the boys’ single loss coming at the hands of Millburn.
Both teams are looking to continue to build off successful 2016-17 seasons, with the girls looking to maintain momentum after a year where they were rebuilding and the boys determined to better their third-place finish in the Essex County Championships.
This year, the girls have been helped by some tremendous freshman talent.
Devin Muldoon leads the way, and is the top seed in the 200-yard individual medley as well as the 100-yard backstroke in the upcoming County Championships, which take place on Monday, Jan. 15, at the Raritan Bay Area YMCA in Perth Amboy.
The two other standouts this season have been Gaea Caro in the 100-yard breaststroke and Millie Steffe in the 100-yard backstroke. As for returning swimmers, junior Kathrynna Demetillo has been strong in the 200-yard freestyle and the 100-yard butterfly.
The team has already improved upon it’s 2016-17 efforts, as they beat both Caldwell and Millburn this season. The Mounties lost to the Chiefs and Millers last season, but this season Montclair beat Caldwell 92-78 then took down Millburn 99-71. The win over the Millers was led by victories from Muldoon in the 200-yard IM and 100-yard backstroke as well as a strong win in the 200-yard Medley Relay.
That’s two tough opponents overcome by this young team, which gives them plenty of momentum heading into this weekend.
The boys had a good 2016-17 season, but lost two very strong swimmers to graduation, with two more transferring. While that might have been an understandable setback, they too have been able to draw from a talented group of freshmen.
The boys have been strong across the board, in all events this season, and have competed in every race.
Jarrett Driever has been outstanding in the 200-yard individual medley and 100-yard breaststroke, while fellow freshman Alex Petroff has put together some nice wins in the 100-yard backstroke and 200-yard freestyle. Rounding out the group is Mizell McEachin, who has been solid in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle races.
Sophomore Tommy White has contributed often, swimming in the 100-yard butterfly and 100-yard backstroke.
While the boys have raced very well, they have yet to meet two of the tougher opponents on their schedule — Livingston and undefeated Seton Hall Prep. Livingston, sitting at 4-1 right now, always gives the Mounties a tough match, while the Pirates almost never lose and currently sit at 8-0. Add in a difficult match against a 5-1 Columbia Cougars team.
And all three of those teams will be at the championships this Monday.
So the Mounties — both boys and girls — have an excellent chance to make their mark on this season and let other teams know that they’re coming for that top spot.