West Orange residents Andrea Galea and Kaitlyn Ianiro lead Mount Saint Dominic Academy swim team at County meet

CALDWELL – Led by West Orange seniors Andrea Galea and Kaitlyn Ianiro, the Lady Sea Lions swim squad from Mount Saint Dominic Academy finished a fine fourth in the team standings at the Essex County/Super Essex Conference championships meet on the morning of MLK Day, Monday, Jan. 18, at the Raritan Bay Area YMCA.

The Mount’s crosstown competitor, Caldwell, earned a championship three-peat by totaling 185 points, while Montclair High was a very close second with 180.5. Millburn finished third with 176 and Mount Saint Dominic Academy came in fourth with 160.

Rounding out the results were Columbia in fifth place with 115,  followed by West Orange with 108.5, Newark Academy with 97.5, Livingston with 95.5, MKA with 94 and West Essex Regional with 72.

Galea finished second in the 100 yards backstroke, where she recorded a time of :58.76 and third in the 50 yards freestyle, via a :25.73 effort.

Seventh in the 200 free went to Ianiro, who posted a personal-best time of 2:06.45 in that event, to go along with a 5:38.92 showing in the 500 free, another personal best.

In the 200-yards medley relay, the quartet of Galea, who swam backstroke, Julianna Bender, a ninth-grader from South Orange, who swam the breaststroke leg, Fiona Palumbo, a sophomore from Morris Plains, who swam butterfly, and Tess Morrissey, a ninth-grader from West Caldwell, who swam freestyle, finished an impressive third, behind only Montclair, 1:53.28, and Caldwell, 1:53.36, with a total time of 1:54.56, their best of the season.

The 200 free relay saw the Mount foursome of Bender, Ina Gonzalez, a junior from Lake Hiawatha, Palumbo and Ianiro finish fourth at 1:48.17. The 400 free relay unit of Ianiro, Gonzalez, Morrissey and Galea earned fourth place in the meet’s final event at 3:49.92, as they finished behind only Millburn, 3:40.05, Caldwell, 3:44.34 and Montclair, 3:49.48. That order of finish gave the team title to Caldwell. Had Montclair finished ahead of the Lady Aqua-Chiefs, it would have copped the crown by a half-point.

More recently, Galea, Ianiro and the rest of the Lady Sea Lions squad moved back above the .500 mark at 5-4 this season by edging West Essex Regional, 88-82, on Friday night, Jan. 22, at the Caldwell Community Center.

In that outing, Ianiro won the 500 free and was part of the victorious 400 free relay team.

 The Mount is slated to close out its regular season slate by traveling to take on 4-4 West Orange High at Rutgers Newark at a date yet to be determined.