BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Gov. Livingston sophomore swimmer Hirad Sharifian captured two individual first place finishes in the 100 and 200 Free and was part of the 400 free relay that shattered the school record at the Union County Championships.

"I knew I had put in the work and that all I had to do was go and swim it at my best," said Sharifianof his outlook going into the Union County Championships. "I personally was very confident in winning the 100 free but when it came down to the 200, I had some tough competition. Thankfully it all turned out well."

"Hirad is a really talented swimmer who has made the most of his gifts during his first year on GL," said GL head swim coach David Closs.  "Hirad and his family moved into Berkeley Heights last year and this is the first year he was eligible to compete for GL. ---Hirad has done an incredible job for us this year."

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Sharifian is the first GL swimmer to win two county titles in the same meet in the 15 years that Coach Closs has been the coach. He won the 200 Free and the 100 Free and he also helped lead GL to two second place finishes at Counties in the 200 Free Relay and the 400 Free Relay.

The 400 Free Relay, which consisted of Sharifian, Thomas Sartorio, Andrew Rampaul-Pino and David Martinez also broke the school record by six seconds with an impressive time of 3:17.72.

Although Sharifian qualified for Meet of Champions, he will not be swimming due to personal reasons, but look for him making a splash in other high profile meets.

For his accomplishments at the Union County Tournament and dedication and drive to his sport of swimming, Hirad Sharifian has been named the Valairco Heating and Cooling Highlander Athlete of the Week.

Hirad took time out to answer a few questions in recognition of being named Valairco Heating and Cooling Highlander Athlete of the Week.

TAPinto:  When did you start swimming and where?

Hirad: I’ve been in the water as early as I can remember. I started swimming recreationally back in Iran but when my family and I moved to USA when I was eight, I began the competitive swimming at the Woodbridge YMCA.

TAPinto: Do you compete all year?

Hirad: I do swim all year round. Im really happy that swimming is one of the few sports where you are constantly training all year round.

TAPinto: How did it feel to be part of the 400 Free relay that broke the school record by six seconds?


Hirad: Relays are always fun. I knew the boys had been putting in the work and that we were ready to show it. 

TAPinto: What has been your favorite team memory to date? 

Hirad: The relays at counties are at the top of my list

TAPinto: What do you enjoy about GL?

Hirad: I think that when you put everything together at GL, you get the perfect picture. The staff of the school are exceptional.

TAPinto:  What is your favorite class and favorite teacher?

Hirad:I love the subject of math. Especially by my favorite 2 teachers: Ms. Rossiter and Mrs. Birstler.

TAPinto: What do you enjoy doing when you are not training?

Hirad: When im not swimming im hanging out with friends. We either play video games together or meet up and do something fun.

TAPinto: Who is your favorite professional athlete?

Hirad: My favorite professional athlete would have to be Caeleb Dressel. I really enjoyed watching him shatter records at the 2019 World Championships

TAPinto: Who is your role model?

Hirad: I don’t have a role model. I usually look up to my teammates who push me to get better. We all try and come to practice with the right mental attitude and get things done. And when someone is feeling a little low, we’re there for each other.

TAPinto: What are your future goals?

Hirad: My future goals would include swimming for a prestigious college that is exceptional in swimming and academics. I strive everyday for improvement in every aspect of myself.

Favorite quote: “ Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they've been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It's an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration.”


Valairco Heating & Cooling is the proud sponsor of the Highlander Athlete of the Week. Kevin McHugh, Valairco Owner and President and Berkeley Heights resident, is an alumni of Gov. Livingston High School.

Valairco Heating & Cooling is celebrating 50 years in business. They are family owned and operated and know that keeping your HVAC systems running smoothly is important to the comfort of our customers, their families, and their guests. That is why their family is dedicated to taking care of yours, no matter what the issue may be. Using only top-quality parts to perform a higher-standard of service and all their services are backed by their 50 years of professional experience and 5-year comprehensive warranties. This means that when you call our team at Valairco, you benefit from their total commitment to your complete satisfaction.