MONTCLAIR, NJ — In a much-anticipated first swim meet of the season, the Montclair High School boys swim team prevailed over rival team and reigning Essex County champions, Seton Hall Prep, with a final score of 90-80, and the girls squad easily dominated Mount Saint Dominic Academy, 125-45.
The Mounties’ Panzer Pool at Montclair State University was standing room-only with fans arriving from near and far to witness the historic event.
For the first time in 21 years, Montclair High School defeated Seton Hall Prep. The strength and depth of the MHS boys team consistently challenged the Pirates in every event throughout the meet. Last year, the boys squad lost only one dual meet all season, against Seton Hall, and placed second to SHP at the Essex County Championships. After making it to the NJSIAA Sectional Final, the Mounties were barely defeated by River Dell. The boys’ triumph reverberated throughout the County, and provides confidence to go even further this season.
First-place finishes by Mizell McEachin (50 free) and the 200 Free Relay team of Spyros Salatas, Marcos Gutierrez, Mizell McEachin, and Alex Petroff, gave the Mounties the edge they needed. But it was mainly the consistent second-, third-, and fourth-place finishes that kept the boys on top.
Second-place finishes by Alex Petroff (200 Free), Jarrett Driever (200 IM and 500 Free), Tommy White (100 fly and 100 Back), Justin Ellis (100 Free), Leo Powers (100 Breast), the 400 Free Relay team of Justin Ellis, Tommy White, Alex Petroff and Spyros Salatas, and the 200 Medley Relay team of Jarrett Driever, Leo Powers, Tommy White and Mizell McEachin, added valuable points to secure the win.
Third-place finishes by Justin Ellis (200 Free), Leo Powers (200 IM), Spyros Salatas (50 Free), Marcos Gutierez (100 Fly), Mizell McEachin (100 Free), Logan Driever (500 Free), Spyros Salatas (100 Back) and Caleb Foung (100 Breast), plus the 200 Medley Relay team of Roman Miklaszewski, Caleb Foung, Sumner Smith and Marcos Gutierrez, and the 200 Free Relay team of Justin Ellis, Roman Miklaszewski, Leo Powers and Sumner Smith, all contributed to the victory against a formidable challenger.
The MHS girls team placed first in nine of 11 events, securing the victory. First-place finishers included Salma Benchekroun (200 Free), Devon Muldoon (200 IM and 100 Free), Mia Padberg (50 Free), Ela Habjan (100 Fly and 100 Back), Gaea Caro (100 Breast), the 200 Free Relay team of Morgan Crawford, Julianne Eckert, Salma Benchekroun and Mia Padberg, and the 200 Medley Relay team of Devon Muldoon, Gaea Caro, Sol Jordan and Ela Habjan. Second-place finishes by Sol Jordon (200 Free), Julianne Eckert (50 Free), Mia Padberg (100 Free), Salma Benchekroun (500 Free), Sarah Miller (100 Back), Caitlin Foung (100 Breast), and the 400 Free Relay team of Morgan Crawford, Ellie Felber, Gaea Caro, and Sarah Miller, contributed to the win.
Third-place finishers were Ellie Felber (200 Free), Gaea Caro (200 IM), Sol Jordan (100 Fly), Julianne Eckert (100 Free), Elana Frank (500 Free), Carly Fazendin (100 Breast), the 200 Free Relay team of Sarah Miller, Elana Frank, Caitlin Foung and Mina Meyer-Najmi, the 200 Medley Relay team of Salma Benchekroun, Caitlin Foung, Ellie Felber, and Julianne Eckert, and the 400 Free Relay team of Mina Meyer-Najmi, Caitlin Foung, Skyler Edinburgh and Elana Frank, added still more points.
The Montclair High School swim team walked away from the first meet of the season with a glorious defeat of SHP and a decisive win against MSDA, boding well for a successful season ahead.
The Mounties’ next challenge takes place this Thursday, Dec. 5, when they face Livingston High School at West Essex YMCA at 3:30 p.m.