PERTH AMBOY, NJ - High school swimmers were back in the pool this weekend for the 2018 Greater Middlesex Conference championships. The team results again saw the East Brunswick High School girls swim team back in the winners' circle for a fifth consecutive swim season. Metuchen High School took second place while JP Stevens High School claimed third. While Spotswood High School is not listed in the official list of participating schools, Charger swimmers were in attendance, competing in individual events.
This year five swimmers proudly represented Spotswood High School in the pool including sophomores Gabrielle Dellaglio, Erin Drebych, Lily Siglam and Hannah White along with freshman Abby Johnson. Dellaglio, Drebych and White all swam last year for the first time when they were freshmen. Siglam was running last year as a part of the Spotswood High School winter track team. All five ladies are competitive swimmers, swimming for the Raritan Valley YMCA Riptide during the swim season and the Milltown's Brookside Swim Club in the summer. Drebych has been in the water since age nine while Dellaglio, Siglam, White and Johnson have all been competing for four plus years.
Brian Rose coaches the girls on the Riptide while CarrieAnn Egan-Ragavas is the girls' summer coach at Brookside. Both coaches were in attendance to watch the girls swim as well as offer encouraging words.
While the girls all miss the opportunity to have a full time swim team at Spotswood High School, they all relish the chance to compete in the Greater Middlesex Conference Swim championships.
"It's a lot of fun to swim at GMC's," Dellaglio said. "We work so hard for the Riptide during the season and it's nice to get a chance to swim for our high school against our peers from other high schools. We get to see so many of our Riptide friends swimming for their schools so that makes it even better."
"We love the opportunity to represent our school in the Middlesex County Conference," Siglam said of her first GMC. "It is always a pleasure to be able to compete against our friends from other schools. Although we don’t have a team, there are so many dedicated and talented swimmers that Spotswood has to offer."
"Although the GMC’s doesn’t count much for us, it’s such a great experience to compete," White said. "GMC’s is like another invitational that we do for Riptide. It also helps me get ready for the end of the year championship meets we do for Riptide. My favorite part is seeing my other friends from other schools and cheering them on."
"This was my first year for the GMC’s and it was an amazing experience, " Johnson added. "Everyone at this meet is so positive and encouraging. Even though SHS doesn’t have a team, I loved representing SHS and swimming with my friends and teammates."
While the Spotswood swimmers' times do not have a numbered finish because they are competing individually, all the girls qualified for the finals of their events.
For all the girls swimming is a lifelong love and one they will probably keep with them when they move into the next chapter of their lives after high school.
"Competitive swimming in college is extremely rigorous and I think it would be even harder to balance with academics," Drebych said when asked if she would like to pursue swimming in college. "I would want to do another club team to stay involved in a sport I’ve devoted so much to."
"I think so," Dellaglio said, echoing her teammate's sentiments about keeping swimming close to the heart. "Competitive swimming has been such a big part of my life for so long, I can’t imagine not doing it in college, even if it is on the intramural or club level."
The events and times for the Spotswood swimmers at this year's GMC championships were as follows:
- 50-yard Freestyle - Hannah White 27.67, Erin Drebych 28.55
- 100-yard Freestyle - Abby Johnson 1.12.21
- 100-yard Backstroke - Lily Siglam 1.08.36, Gabrielle Dellaglio 1.08.57, Erin Drebych 1.11.61
- 100-yard Breaststroke - Hannah White 1.20.22, Abby Johnson 1.34.66
- 100-yard Butterfly - Lily Siglam 1.10.63
- 200-yard Individual Medley - Gabrielle Dellaglio 2.32.15