SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ -- Despite having a young team, the Scotch Plains-Fanwood boys swimmers had hoped to return to the state finals for the fourth time in five years. The dream ended as Chatham (11-2) outswam the Raiders, 91-79, at the Fanwood-Scotch Plains YMCA on Tuesday, Feb. 11, in the NJSIAA North 2, Group B Sectional Semifinals.
The meet started on a disappointing note for the Raiders as its Lane 2 Medley Relay team with disqualified in the first event, which cost the foursome an opportunity to pick up points for a third-place finish. Chatham's A relay team of Kyle Beebe, Aidan Kagan, Mark Albarez, and Ryan Snarr took first place with a time of 1:43.18, while the Raiders' A relay of Sean Merkle, Aidan Trenery, Jason Mongiovi, and Michael DePaola finished second.
The Raiders won the next three individual races as Corey He took the 200 Freestyle in 1:49.77, Aidan Trenery won the 200 IM in 1:59.42, and Matt London won the 50 Freestyle, a race he has not lost this season, in 22.44. Meanwhile, Chatham picked up points for 2 through 5th place finishes, and had a slim two-point edge, until the Butterfly, which they swept 1-2-3 and established a lead that they would not relinquish.
"Everyone showed up today and swam the best that they could," said Chatham head coach Frank DiGiacomo, who says he looks forward to swimming against Scotch Plains-Fanwood each year. "We're looking ahead to facing Montgomery. They have a really fast team, but we have a lot of guys who are fast, too. We are going to keep on working hard to prepare for them.
"Sweeping the 100 Fly and the 100 Breast was huge for us," said senior captain Phillip Puccio. "I'm really proud of the way we swam today, and now we have to prepare for Friday."
Scotch Plains-Fanwood coach Jess Hulnik said she was proud of the way her team performed all year.
"We had some good times today, and we overall swam well. We knew Chatham would be a tough opponent, they always are," Coach Hulnik said. "We are a young team, a very young team, and I'm encouraged about the future."
The boys finished 8-3 on the season, and will graduate two seniors this year: Ethan Morrobel and Lucas Route.
Scotch Plains-Fanwood will send several swimmers to the Meet of Champions at the end of February. Matt London will swim in the 50 Free, which he has not lost this year, and the 100 Free. Aidan Trenery is entered into the distance races, the 200 Free and the 500 Free. Additionally, London and Trenery will combine with Sean Merkle and Michael DePaola in the 400 Freestyle Relay.
200 Medley Relay
Kyle Beebe, Aidan Kagan, Mark Albarez, Ryan Snarr (Chatham) 1:43.18
Corey He (Scotch Plains-Fanwood) 1:49.77
Aidan Trenery (Scotch Plains-Fanwood) 1:59.42
Matt London (Scotch Plains-Fanwood) 22.44
Mark Albarez (Chatham) 55.25
Matt London (Scotch Plains-Fanwood) 49.49
Corey He (Scotch Plains-Fanwood) 4:58.09 1
200 Freestyle Relay
Jason Mongiovi, Michale DePaola, Corey He, Matt London (Scotch Plains-Fanwood) 1:35.38
Aidan Trenery (Scotch Plains-Fanwood) 55.81
400 Freestyle Relay
Matt London, Corey He, Sean Merkle, Aidan Trenery (Scotch Plains-Fanwood) 3:29.05