WARREN, NJ - Spirits were high as the Gov. Livingston Highlander Boys faced Oratory Prepatory this past Thursday, swimming their way to victory, 101-67.
While pleased with the win, and every athlete’s performance, Head Coach David Closs’ most important focus this evening was about his soon to be graduating seniors. In true GL tradition, team spirit abounded. The spectator area was decorated with zippy signs created by the junior classmen for each senior, and the spectator seating area was packed with family and friends of the seniors. The splash ceremony ensued as each honored senior athlete walked the bulkhead to receive their traditional rose at the other end. Coach Closs, nostalgic for his Highlander men, was very pleased with the performance of his senior leader-athletes. Closs gladly shared his thoughts about each of his senior boys.
Tony Ho is a hard worker. You can see it at practice, and when he competes. It’s been nice to watch his skills develop over the last four years. He comes to compete, and it is a pleasure to have Tony on the team.
Ryan Lee, who joined as a sophomore, is a tremendous kid who has shown improvement in all his strokes, particularly his breaststroke. You can see how determined and committed he has been all season. He’s been a lot of fun to have on the team and has a great attitude.
Captain David Martinez has been an absolute rock for our team for four years. He’s the gold standard by which you can put any senior. While he’s battling some injury issues, I know he’ll give us whatever he can for the rest of the season. This kid gives it his all, every time.
Captain Chris Rampaul-Pino is another absolute rock for this team for the past four years. He’s a tremendous swimmer in any different event. I can put him in any event; breaststroke, fly, IM; you name it he can do it. You can see he’s come to swim and it’s been great to watch his technical improvements culminate this year.
Noam Rotenberg has done a really nice job for us these past four years. He’s been a great solid addition to our team. He really helps out, does a great job in any event I put him in, and never complains! He’s always happy just to help out the team whenever and how ever he can.
Jon Sternberg is a great story. Jon struggled a little bit in the first year or so but he’s really come on strong in the last two years. He’s worked really hard and I’m quite proud of him. He broke a 1.00 in his 100 Free for the first time, tonight, which was tremendous.
Everyone loves Zion (Tseng)! It’s so understandable why – he’s got a great personality. He’s an irrepressible kid. He’s worked really hard these past few years to become an important part of our team. His swims are really outstanding.
Captain Rob Wargaski, although quiet, is a tremendous leader by example. You couldn’t ask for anything better than that. He gets in and works hard every night at practice, and is a dryland warrior. He gives it his all and that’s all you could ever ask of anyone.
Gov. Livingston results of Thursday's win against Oratory:
200 Medley Relay: 1st Thomas Sartorio, Ethan Wong, Andrew Rampaul-Pino, Aidan Forrester; 3rd Jon Sternberg, Kieran Feely, Alex Moon, Zion Tseng
200 Freestyle: 1st Hirad Sharifian
200 IM: 1st Ethan Wong; 2nd Andrew Rampaul-Pino
50 Freestyle: 3rd Aidan Forrester
100 Fly: 1st Hirad Sharifian; 3rd Kieran Feely
100 Freestyle: 1st Thomas Sartorio; 3rd Aidan Forrester
500 Freestyle: 1st Andrew Rampaul-Pino
200 Freestyle Relay: 1st Hirad Sharifian, Ethan Wong, Aidan Forrester, Zion Tseng; 3rd Tony Ho, Ryan Lee, Kieran Feely, William Maciejewski
100 Backstroke: 2nd Thomas Sartorio; 3rd Jon Sternberg
100 Breaststroke: 1st Ethan Wong
400 Freestyle Relay: 2nd Hirad Sharifian, Noam Rotenberg, Jon Sternberg, Thomas Sartorio; 3rd Alex Moon, William Maciejewski, Zion Tseng, Andrew Rampaul-Pino