CHATHAM, NJ - Racers broke out their Fastskins and LZR Racer performance swimsuits for the Town and Country League's 55th annual All Team Meet on Saturday at Minisink Swim Club in Chatham. Clearwater Swim Club dominated the meet, beating the five other teams by over 75 points, and finished the season with an unbeaten 5-0 record.
Clearwater swimmers were strong from the start—the real contest was for second place. Crestview Swim Club and Chatham Fish & Game tied for second with 213 points each. As scores were posted after event 39, the teams were in a dead heat with 154 points each. Four events later Fish & Game was beating Crestview by five points, but at event 46 the teams were tied at 181 once again, and remained tied through the last three events.
Berkeley Swim Club, Minisink and Noe Pond took the final three spots, respectively.
"We probably weren't as nervous as we should have been, given Crestview's past," said Clearwater Swimmer Kyle Fries, "but I knew we had good swimmers racing in most of the events. Even if it was close, come the relays, I knew we could hold our own."
Fries was referring to the 14-year winning streak held by Crestview from 1978 to 2005, when they won 26 of 27 All-Team Meets. Fish & Game won in 2006 and 2007, before Clearwater began their current streak.
Several league records were broken at the meet:
• Clearwater's Kathleen Miszkiewicz broke her own girls 13-14 50 meter backstroke record with a time of 32.97, previously 33.44.
• Adam Weinbrom of Fish & Game broke two records. First, he broke the boys 15/17 50 meter backstroke with a time of 24.69, formerly 25.04. His second record-breaking swim was the boys 15-17 50 meter free with a time of 24.69, formerly 25.04.
• Sam Sinnot of Berkeley broke the boys 9-10 50 meter backstroke with a time of 38.92, breaking the 39.65 record.
• Minisink's Greta Leberfinger broke her own 15-17 50 meter breaststroke record with a time of 36.66, previously the record was 36.86.
"When I finished I had no idea I broke the record, I felt great in the race and knew I finished strong," said Leberfinger. "but I instantly began focusing on my next race since they were back to back."
The Town & Country League has been in existence since 1955, when Clearwater, Fish & Game, Minisink and Canoe Brook Country Club began staging informal swim meets. Elizabeth Town & Country soon joined. In 1957, Crestview replaced Elizabeth, and Noe joined the following year. Berkeley replaced Canoe Brook in 1962, and the league has remained intact since then.
According to the meet program, the Town & Country League "likely stands as the first competitive group of summer swim clubs in the nation, as the national office of the Amateur Athletic Association has no record of any older organization."