By Lorelle Nottle Driever
MONTCLAIR, NJ – Having returned from the holiday break rested and reinvigorated, the Montclair High School girls and boys swim teams were poised to begin 2019 successfully. This week, that they did, crushing West Essex 135-35 and 131-39, and working hard to beat Millburn 104-66 and 97-73. Both the girls and boys can now boast impressive records of 6-0.
The teams first faced off against West Essex, a notably smaller team, lacking in depth. The girls took first and second in all three relays and swept first, second and third in the 200 IM (Mia Padberg, Gaea Caro, Morgan Crawford), 50 free (Maya Crawford, Kathrynna Demetillo, Carly Fazedin), 100 free (Demetillo, Millie Steffe, Avrianny Thorngren), and 500 free (Lily Foung, Elena Frank, Skyler Edinburg). Foung also won the 100 breast while Devon Muldoon won the 200 IM and 100 back.
The boys too took first and second in all three relays and swept first, second and third in the 200 IM (Sumner Smith, Marcos Gutierrez, Caleb Foung), 50 free (Mizell McEachin, Garrett Chow, Roman Miklaszewski), 100 fly (Tommy White, Leo Powers, Lucas Young), 100 free (McEachin, Smith, Bailey Morganlander) and 100 breast (Justin Ellis, Jarrett Driever, Foung). Driever won the 500 free while Alex Petroff won the 100 back.
Next up: Millburn, always an exciting team to face and one that, until this year, had often defeated the MHS girls and consistently defeated the MHS boys during the dual seasons. The girls, remaining in the lead the entire meet, took firsts in the 200 medley relay (Muldoon, Foung, Demetillo, Julianne Eckert) with a time of 1:59.56, 200 free relay (Caro, Maya Crawford, Padberg, Sol Jordan) with a time of 1:48.83, and 400 free relay (Jordan, Demetillo, Padberg, Muldoon) with a time of 3:55.06. They also took firsts in the 200 free and 100 back (Muldoon), 200 IM (Padberg) and 100 breast (Foung).
The boys, sometimes tied, sometimes lagging behind, provided nail-biting entertainment during much of the meet. In the end, however, they did not disappoint. In the 200 medley relay (Petroff, Ellis, White, McEachin), the first event, the boys swam their best time of 1:43.32, but fell short of taking first, starting the meet behind. They tied it up the next event, when Petroff stepped up and took first in the 200 free with a time of 1:54.19. They then pulled ahead in the 200 IM (Driever, Smith, Foung), taking second, third and fourth, but, thanks to some powerhouses on Millburn, fell and remained behind for the next three events. This was certainly not due to a lack of effort on MHS’s part. Rather, during these races, there were some impressive swims, including: McEachin’s 50 free (22.97); Ellis’s 100 free (51.51); and White’s 100 fly (52.94), which satisfies the cut for the state championship. The turning point of the meet arose during the 500 free when Morganlander, Gutierrez and Brenden Goldman took first, second and fourth, respectively, putting MHS in the lead. Thereafter, the 200 free relay team of Smith, Powers, Gutierrez and White took first with a time of 1:34.48, Petroff, Miklaszewski and Gutierrez swept the 100 back, and the 400 free relay team of McEachin, Petroff, Ellis and White finished first, swimming a best time of 3:25.16.