SEWELL, NJ - The Governor Livingston girls swim team put the finishing touch on their history making season when they competed at the NJSIAA Meet of Champions, which was held March 2 - 3 at the Gloucester County Institute of Technology.
Five swimmers represented the school in both relay and individual events. Sophomore Caroline Kolmodin swam the 50 free and placed 42nd, and sophomore Rachel Heeren swam the 100 fly and placed 29th. Senior Bailey Gold qualified for finals in the 100 fly and took 14th place in that event, and placed 18th in the 500 free. The medley relay team of Gold, junior Danielle Curtis, Heeren and Kolmodin qualified for finals and came in 19th, and the 400 free relay team of Kolmodin, Heeren, senior Sena Hur and Gold also returned for finals and took 18th place.
"I'm very pleased with how the season went this year for GL girls swimming," said Head Coach David Closs. "We earned our third straight sectional title, broke a number of individual and relay records, earned individual county titles and sent five ladies down to MOC's to compete against the best in the state...by any measure, it was a very successful season."
Another sectional title was by no means a sure thing this year as the team lost a large group of swimmers to graduation last year, but the addition of several new faces helped to fill the gaps. Freshmen Rebekah Chuba and Ella Ferrigno stepped into the lineup and started contributing immediately, and sophomores Kolmodin and Heeren made their marks in the school's record book: Kolmodin broke the 50 free record with a time of 24.93 and Heeren took the 100 fly record with a time of 57.37.
Seniors Olivia McKeon, Sena Hur and Bailey Gold also did their part this year, and they will be missed by Closs. "I want to particularly point out Sena and Bailey as two of the main reasons why we had such a great year and past four years overall," he said. "Sena has come a long way as a swimmer and I was so happy for her that she could end her GL career on a high note, posting a personal best time with her 100 free split on the girls 400 free relay this past weekend. She really stepped up her swimming these past two years and became a vital part of our team."
As the lead-off swimmer in the 200 medley relay and the anchor of the 400 free relay, Gold was the first swimmer in the pool at each meet and the last one out, and Closs knows her absence will be felt next year. "I just can't say enough about Bailey," he said. "Much of what we have achieved these past four years would not have happened without her being on the team and she is a huge part of why we are back to back to back sectional champions." He noted that Gold will leave GL with two individual county titles (100 fly and 500 free), three school records (100 back, 200 medley relay and 400 free relay), and numerous top 16 finishes at the Meet of Champions.
"She has set a standard on our team that will be hard to duplicate but its one that I give her credit for creating and for our team to continue to strive for in the future," he said.
The team will look to its roster of talented juniors to lead the way to the sectional title next year.