NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - The Crestview and Clearwater swim teams clashed on Tuesday in the Summit area's meet of the season at Crestview Tennis and Swim Club. Some consider this the World Series of Summit-area swim clubs. Clearwater won this year’s contest by a score of 318 to 231.
“Clearwater has a strong program, and we knew that,” said Crestview coach Priscilla Barletta, “We just wanted to stay positive and sportsmanlike and hope for the best outcome.”
At the meet’s beginning, Crestview won 8 of the first 10 races. But with a determination fueled by rivalry, Clearwater pulled ahead. Around the 20th race Clearwater was winning running away with the score. Several times a Clearwater swimmer won their race by at least the length of the pool, if not more.
Clearwater has emerged victorious in each of the last five years, but for the 28 years before that, Crestview went undefeated against their biggest rival.
“I have been swimming this meet since 2004,” said veteran Clearwater swimmer Jack Haberl, “And I still remember the years when we still couldn’t beat Crestview, so seeing this is just great.” Jack was attending the meet in support of former teammates and especially his younger sister, Kelly.
The night’s highlight featured Will Brenn’s fingertip finish for Clearwater in the Boy’s 15 – 18 50m freestyle. Neck and neck with an opponent on each side, Brenn reached out at the race’s end to get the well-needed extra points for his team.
The mood from the parents and other spectators was tense. Each side was determined to defeat the other. Unfortunately for Crestview, the athletes from Clearwater could not be stopped on their 318-point trek to victory.