BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - The New Jersey high school swim season officially opened last week, and Governor Livingston will be looking to build on last year’s successful season and take its teams back to the sectional finals again. Both the boys and girls teams captured the top spot in the New Jersey Public C section for 2016-17, breaking multiple school records along the way.
“GL Swimming looks forward to the 2017-18 season,” said Head Coach David Closs. “Despite losing five swimmers to graduation and transfer, the girls team is in excellent shape to make another serious run at a sectional title. With a large senior class and a number of excellent new and returning underclassmen, senior captains Nicole Biegel, Sarah Polizzi and Serena Shen are determined to lead the lady Highlanders back to the promised land of a Central C sectional title.”
Closs also points to Sarah Montagna, (County Champion in the 500 freestyle), Bailey Gold (school record holder in the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke and Meet of Champions finalist) and newcomer Rachel Heeren as swimmers to watch in the quest for another title.
The girls team surprised many when they muscled their way into third place at the 2017 Union County Championships, swimming past rivals Cranford, New Providence and Summit, and the swimmers are happily anticipating their upcoming meets. “I am so excited to see how our team does this season – we have an amazing team and I can’t wait to see what we can do this year,” said captain Sarah Polizzi. Her co-captain Nicole Biegel shares her enthusiasm, adding “after a great season last year, we can’t wait to see where this season takes us!”
Closs said the boys team will have a harder path back to the sectional finals. “The boys team will have a bit of a rebuilding year after losing a large number of seniors to graduation,“ he said. “However, they are excited to try and defend their Central C sectional title from last year, and with leadership from senior captains Bret O’Brien, Duytam Vu and Jimmy Pitingolo the boys team is in excellent hands as they try to make another title run.” Closs is also looking for big contributions from MOC qualifier Jason Paprocki as well as Ellis Sartorio, who last year broke the school’s 100 backstroke record and earned a spot at MOCs. Captain Duytam Vu thinks his team is up for the challenge. “We’ve lost a lot of talent, but Jimmy and I have 30 years of swimming experience combined,” he said. “We believe that this experience will play a role in getting us back to Neptune.”
Both the boys and girls teams will have their home openers on Thursday, December 7 at 7:45 p.m.