Editor's note: Janice Gold contributed to article.
WARREN, NJ - Twenty-two senior swimmers and managers were honored on Thursday night as the GL swim team defeated Oak Knoll, 110-59, and Oratory, 96-74.
During a break from action in the meet, head coach David Closs recognized the 17 swimmers and five managers who will graduate in June. Upon having their names called, seniors walked across the bulkhead while the underclassmen kicked in the water to splash them goodbye.
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These seniors have been part of a successful stretch in GL swim history. Last year, both teams made it to the state sectional finals and won the New Jersey Group 3 Section C title. After claiming that title, the boy’s and girl’s teams made it to the state semi-finals before both falling to Haddonfield.
Both teams will look to defend their titles as the postseason starts next week. The boys, seeded No. 5, will swim at home vs. No. 8 Haddon Township on Tuesday, February 6. The girls secured the No. 1 seed and await their opponent.
The GL Swim Class of 2018 seniors are: Alan Du, Bret O’Brien, Jason Paprocki, Jimmy Pitingolo, Ellis Sartorio, Jack Siburn, Duytam Vu, Jon Wong, Emily Aponte, Nicole Biegel, Aidan Donahue, Morgan Luciani, Sarah Montagna, Grace Pitingolo, Sarah Polizzi, Serena Shen, Julia Woo, Louis Pitingolo, Katie Zimmerman, Cate Dougherty, Jordan Nichols, Nirit Rotenberg.
Girl Swim Results
The girls regular season ended on a high note with a 110-59 victory against Oak Knoll.
The medley relay team of Bailey Gold, Nicole Biegel, Rachel Heeren and Sarah Montagna kicked the meet off with the first win, and the energy that followed contributed to many inspired swims. Other first place finishes included:
200 free - Aidan Donahue
100 fly, 100 back - Bailey Gold
500 free - Sarah Montagna
200 free relay - Sarah Polizzi, Ashley Chang, Sena Hur, Aidan Donahue
400 free relay - Sarah Montagna, Aidan Donahue, Rachel Heeren, Bailey Gold
Boys Swim Results
The boys closed out the regular season with a 96-74 victory over Oratory.
The 200 medley relay team of Ellis Sartorio, Chris Rampaul-Pino, David Martinez and Duytam Vu kicked off the meet with a first place finish. Other first place finishes included:
200 IM - David Martinez
50 Free - Jason Paprocki
100 Free - Jason Paprocki
200 Free Relay - Jason Paprocki, Duytam Vu, Jimmy Pitingolo, David Martinez
100 Back - Ellis Sartorio
"It was really nice to save our best meet for the last meet of the regular season," said Gov. Livingston head swim coach David Closs. "I think that sets us up really nicely for the state meets, and I think we really have a great opportunity to make it back to the sectional final in Neptune."
Coach Closs' senior remarks:
"The senior girls made an immediate impact as freshman being a relatively large class in size (10 girls) and an impressive one from a swimming standpoint," said Closs. "I think it is fair to say that without these girls we would not have made it to sectional finals two years running (winning last year) and with a good chance to make it back there again this year."
Closs reflected on the various strengths of each individual swimmer. "Each girl has contributed to the team in numerous ways and they are all important to the team and to me personally. They are certainly one of the best GL swimming senior classes in history," he said.
He had this to say about each swimmer:
"Emily Aponte has been a tremendous worker for us for four years and you can tell she just loves being a part of the GL swimming family."
"Nicole Biegel is a school relay record holder and has had a number of big time swims when they counted the most - particularly in the 200 free and breaststroke. And she is a heck of a vocal leader."
"Aidan Donahue is a school relay record holder and another swimmer who always seems to come up huge when it is needed most, whether it's in the 200 free, 500 free or anchoring a relay. Just dynamite."
"Morgan Luciani has been an enthusiastic member of the GL swimming family for 4 years. Her team first attitude has been a tremendous asset to our team and she has done a terrific job."
"Sarah Montagna has a county title to her name in the 500 free, is a school record holder in two relays and previously had been our 100 backstroke record holder. She is money in the bank in the water."
"Grace Pitingolo is another one of our great senior girls who has worked tremendously hard over the years and has always had a wonderful can-do attitude about being a part of our swimming family."
"Sarah Polizzi is a gamer. She works her tail off to get the most out of her talents in the sprints and is among the best big meet swimmers we have. She is a school relay record holder and will be one of our most important swimmers heading into the postseason and MOC's."
"Serena Shen is another big meet swimmer, particularly in the 100 fly. Serena is one of the most amiable people on the team and clearly enjoys her role as team captain and event photographer!"
"Julia Woo is quietly one of our more accomplished swimmers. Julia comes to meets, swims whatever I ask and always does a terrific job. She is a fantastic relay swimmer also."
"Alan Du is quietly one of our most dedicated and hardworking swimmers. All Alan does is come in and give his best effort on a daily basis. You can't ask for any more than that.
"Bret O'Brien has been a great vocal leader on our team and one of our most enthusiastic members of the GL swimming family for four years. He also happens to be a heck of a swimmer, particularly in the backstroke."
"Jason Paprocki is a top flight sprinter and school record holder who has really come into his own on the team the last couple of years. He is a great kid who has really bought into high school swimming and loves the brotherhood of GL swimming."
"Jimmy Pitingolo has turned into one of our most important freestyle specialists this past year. He is another great vocal leader whose personality and work ethic have rubbed off positively on the other kids on the team."
"Ellis Sartorio is a school record holder who is our most consistently excellent athlete. HIs commitment to our team is all the more remarkable considering he is a top-flight club swimmer at Berkeley Aquatic Club yet he makes high school swimming a priority and I am incredibly grateful for that."
Jack Siburn - "I've always had a soft spot for Jack as he is a great kid who you can tell really enjoys being a member of the GL swimming family. I love his enthusiasm and dedication to our team."
"Duytam Vu is an amazing sprinter and school record holder who just loves high school swimming. You can tell how well liked and respected he is by the reception he receives from every swimmer on the team who want to be just like him.
"Jon Wong has one the most infectious personalities on the team. He is also among our hardest workers who gets the most out of his ability on a daily basis."
There were a few other seniors Closs recognized as well. "I just want to briefly mention Jen Collins. While she is now across town at archrival Summit due to her family moving, she was a tremendous presence on this team for three years," he said. "She will always have a place with this team and group of girls in my eyes."
One last group was especially important to Coach Closs. "Our managers have done a great job. Katie Zimmerman, Cate Dougherty, Jordan Nichols, Nirit Rotenberg, and especially Louis Pitingolo, who has been with us every step of the way for the past four years."