PISCATAWAY, NJ - Weighed down with a heavy bag full of medals, an ecstatic Head Coach David Closs recounted his impressions of the Highlander Boys' achievements this evening. This was one of the very best (Union) County meets GL has had in a long time. Tonight marks a lot of firsts for Coach Closs. It's the first time in his 15 year career as GL head coach that he's had a double first place. And the first time all 3 relays (200 Medley, 200 Free & 400 Free) have secured a spot at MOCs in the same meet. And the first time all three relays placed in the top three; two of which placed second. And had two school records broken.
Freshman Ethan Wong broke a 30 year old 200 IM GL record with a time of 2:02.13. The GL 400 Free relay record was shattered by six seconds with the team of sophomore Hirad Sharifian, sophomore Thomas Sartorio, sophomore Andrew Rampaul-Pino, and senior Captain David Martinez, with a time of 3:17.72. Hirad Sharifian earned double first places- in the 200 Free, and again in the 100 Free. The 200 Free relay was 0:00.1 and the 200 Medley relay was 0:00.2 off the school records.
“The team swam above and beyond today," said Closs. They placed fourth with 289 points, behind Westfield with 430 points; Summit with 332; and Scotch Plains-Fanwood with 321 points. The fourth place finish really does not even begin to tell the story, he said. "All three relays qualified for MOC's. There were multiple personal and season bests from just about every swimmer today. Jon Sternberg and Noam Rotenberg achieved personal best high school career times, and I saw great improvement in times from Alex Moon. Thomas Sartorio swam like a warrior today and Andrew Rampaul-Pino swam the breast stroke and came back less than five minutes later to help win the 400 Free relay. David Martinez, who has been struggling with injuries this season, and not 100 percent recovered, provided a superhuman anchor on that same relay. What a heck of an achievement. I know I'm forgetting some stuff off the top of my head, but man that was fun. Simply put, it was a great day,” said Closs.
The Meet Results:
200 Yard Medley Relay 3rd Captain David Martinez, Captain Chris Rampaul-Pino, Andrew Rampaul-Pino, Rafe Barnum MOC
200 Yard Free 1st Hirad Sharifian; 11th Aidan Forrester
200 Yard IM 6th Ethan Wong; 11th Noam Rotenberg; 16th Zion Tseng
50 Yard Free 6th Thomas Sartorio
100 Yard Fly 5th Captain Chris Rampaul-Pino; 15th Alex Moon
100 Yard Free 1st Hirad Sharifian; 6th Thomas Sartorio
500 Yard Free 3rd Andrew Rampaul-Pino; 8th Aidan Forrester; 14th William Maciejewski
200 Yard Free Relay 2nd Hirad Sharifian, Rafe Barnum, Ethan Wong, Thomas Sartorio
100 Yard Back 11th Jon Sternberg; 15th Rafe Barnum
100 Yard Breast 6th Ethan Wong; 8th Andrew Rampaul-Pino; 10th Captain Chris Rampaul-Pino
400 Yard Free 2nd Hirad Sharifian, Thomas Sartorio, Andrew Rampaul-Pino, Captain David Martinez