RANDOLPH, NJ- The Randolph Park Rays (RDP) swim team enjoyed an incredibly successful 2019 swim season, and with a final record of 8-2, it is clear just how much they have improved over the past few years. When Melissa Grosenstein became head coach, she transformed the expectations of the swimmers, who have gone from winning only a few meets to being a team that puts up a fight against the strongest teams around.
Not only has the team seen success in the water, but also in enrollment as they have doubled the size of the team in recent years. Grosenstein explained, “We currently have 70 kids on the team; when I started coaching the team six years ago we only had 35 kids.”
Assistant Swim Coaches Maggie Borinski and Courtney Poetsch are also incredibly happy with how well the team has been doing.
“I’ve been on the team for ten years, and this is the best season I think we’ve had in a long time,” Coach Borinski said. “I’m so proud of how we’ve grown.”
Seventeen year-old team member Andrew Matjucha added, “We went from having a losing record of 3-7, to 5-5, to 7-3, and finally 8-2. Having now almost completed eleven seasons with the team, it’s really exciting to see the rapid growth, and the energy the team’s acquired because of it.”
RDP is a part of the North Jersey Regional Lake League (NJRLL), which consists of eleven teams in several different New Jersey towns. The events are broken up based on age group. RDP is fortunate enough to have a wide range of swimmers in all of the age groups. From 8-U, 9-10, 11-12, 13-14, and 15-18, every swimmer in each age group contributes to the strength of the team. The future of RDP is looking bright thanks to the large group of “8 and-under’s” and 9-10’s, who will eventually become the leaders of the team.
The RDP swim team is not only made up of Randolph residents, as some swimmers come from surrounding towns such as Long Valley, Chester, Wayne, etc. But to fellow teammates, what town someone is from doesn’t matter.
Madison Grosenstein, a member of the team as well as Coach Melissa’s daughter, states, “I’ve developed true friendships on this team that will last a lifetime. My friends make me laugh endlessly and they cheer me on whether it was a good race or not. Even though we don’t all go to the same school, we still find a way to keep in contact with each other and have a close friendship.”
RDP swimmers had a great showing at the NJRLL Silvers Championship meet, which took place on Saturday, August 3. With amazing first place swims to great time drops, every swimmer “rocked the block,” showing just how strong RDP is as a team.
All three coaches are looking forward to watching the team compete in the NJRLL Trials and Finals. Trials takes place on Thursday, August 8, while Finals takes place on Saturday, August 10.