PERTH AMBOY, NJ -- Logan D’Amore of Scotch Plains, a freshman at The Wardlaw-Hartridge School in Edison, accomplished a rare feat at last weekend’s GMC Swimming Championships in Perth Amboy.
D’Amore captured the 500-yard freestyle championship in a time of 4:43.68, setting a new W-H record in the process. Having lost a tight race in the 200-yard freestyle final against J.P. Stevens senior Andrew Galarza less than an hour before, D’Amore returned to the blocks on a mission.
And the W-H freshman had a plan for his rematch at a longer distance.
“I wanted to pace off him for the first 300 (yards) and when he slowed down, I would take off,” D’Amore said. “Once I got ahead, I just focused on going faster. He beat me before in the 200 so it was like vengeance for me.”
D’Amore, the fourth seed, surged ahead in the final 200 and built his lead to win the race by almost five seconds.
“I could hear my coaches and other people screaming,” D’Amore said. “I was definitely sprinting more than I possibly could. I was in the lead and I still had a lot of adrenaline left.”
D’Amore became the first Wardlaw-Hartridge athlete to win a county championship since Katie Buchbinder of Scotch Plains won the GMC first singles tennis title in the fall of 2012. D’Amore also qualified for the NJSIAA Meet of Champions in both the 200 and 500 free events and plans to compete in both against the state’s best.
“That’s against everyone in the state, public and private,” said D’Amore, who expects to see many of his FSPY teammates from Scotch Plains-Fanwood High and Westfield High at the M of C. “My goal is to make it to the finals. I’ll probably be going against some of those guys.”