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Scotch Plains Fanwood Swimming Wrap-up 97apr3
Conference Title Tops List for Raider Swimming Season
By DAVID B. CORBIN
This seasons accomplishments will be memorable ones for the Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School coed Swimming team. The Raiders became the Watchung Conference Champions and defeated arch-rival Westfield High School for the first time in the history of the program.
In addition, Raiders second year Head Coach Jessica Hulnik enjoyed seeing her team finish the season with an excellent 12-2 record and place second in the Union County tournament. Individually, Hulnik had several swimmers turn in outstanding performances in key meets.
This seasons standard of excellence was spearheaded by senior Captains Sherri Hamlette, Jeremy Koscielecki, Stephanie Miller and Jenine Ruiz.
Hamlette, who specializes in the butterfly and freestyle events, qualified to swim on the 200-yard freestyle relay team at the Meet of Champions.
Koscielecki skimmed through the water with his personal best time of 1:06 in the 100-yard backstroke to place in the top 10 at the Union County Championships.
Showing versatility, Miller did everything from 50-yard to 500-yard events. Miller was a member of the 200-yard freestyle relay team at the Meet of Champions.
Competing in the diving events and displaying the agility of a high-class gymnast, Ruiz barely disturbed the water as she made her entry, placing in the top six in every meet.
Junior Ian Doebber took second place in the 100-yard backstroke at the Union County tournament and placed 14th in the state in the same event. For his outstanding achievements, Doebber was named to the All-Area team by the Courier News.
Sarah Milligan, a junior, was very competitive in the 50-yard freestyle and in the 100-yard backstroke throughout the season. Milligan was named to the Courier News All-Union-Middlesex team.
A large impression was made by sophomore David Russ when he captured first place in the 50-yard freestyle at the Union County tournament. That victory gave notice to opposing coaches that Russ would be a force to be reckoned with for the next two years.
Sophomore Missy Canniff, who specialized in distance events, qualified for the Meet of Champions in both the 200-yard freestyle and the 500-yard freestyle. Canniff gained recognition from the Courier News by being selected to the All-Union-Middlesex team.
In the butterfly event, sophomore Jeff Wagner gracefully finished fourth in the Union County tournament. Wagner also competed on the 200-yard medley relay team at the Meet of Champions.
Freshman Annie Espinosa won the 100-yard butterfly event at the Union County tournament and was selected to the All-Union-Middlesex team.
Its always good to have someone who is willing to swim any event and freshman Steven Berkowitz did just that when asked and played a major role in many of the Raider meets this season.
Freshman Katie Feighner competed in the freestyle events and anchored the girls 200-yard medley relay at the Meet of Champions.
"The key to our success this season was our depth and versatility." Claimed Hulnik. "Our second and third lane swimmers who consistently placed third, fourth and fifth helped us clinch many of our close meets." Added Hulnik.
As to what Hulnik considered as being high points to her season, Hulnik stated, "The girls 200-yard medley relay team of Milligan, Jess Zentmeyer, Espinosa and Feighner going 1:57.4 at the Meet of Champions and competing against Pequannock High School at the State Sectionals." Hulnik continued, "The Pequannock meet was the best and most competitive meet of the year."
As to the outlook for next year, Hulnik said, "It looks real good; we have many swimmers returning."
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