SOUTH ORANGE, NJ – The South Orange Dolphins swim team, under head coach Christina Keller, went undefeated this summer with a 7-0 record.
The Dolphins had the largest team ever with 179 swimmers registered. Swimmers ranged in age from 6 to 19 years old.
Typically, the Dolphins have eight dual meets per season, but had a cancelation due to a thunderstorm. The team’s last dual meet was home against Morristown. It ended in a very dramatic way. The meet was stopped in the middle of the 12 & Under Girls Freestyle Relay – the third to last event – because of lightning in the area. “The lightning was pretty close actually – and everyone was caught in a downpour on their way out,” Keller wrote in an email to The News-Record.
“At the end of the season, our team competes in a championship with the hope of qualifying for the final Meet of Champions,” Keller continued. “Our swimmers did a great job at our Division Championship meet at Maplewood. We had 43 swimmers qualify for Meet of Champions which took place at New Providence later that week. The Meet of Champions is a very competitive meet and we had two of our swimmers take first place: Miss Layla Dunston won the 8 & Under 25 Meter Backstroke, and Miss Lola Silver won the 8 & Under 25 Meter Fly. Because of our successful season, the team is moving up to the fastest division of the league next year. It is going to be a tough season, but our swimmers are definitely up to the challenge.”
During the season, the team held a swimathon to raise money for Swim Across America – an organization that raises funds for cancer research. “The team swam close to 125 miles – over 8,000 laps – and raised over $6,500 to date! We exceeded our goals!” wrote Keller.
A few changes were made for the 2019 year:
- A new practice group was formed: The Dolphin Pod Squad for swimmers ages 6 and 7, who are new to the swim team and may not be ready for the full practice and competitive schedule. The Pod Squad focused on learning all four strokes, building confidence and endurance, and having fun.
- Intersquad – Dolphins only – meets were held to give new swimmers an extra chance to race in a less competitive atmosphere.