SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- The Scotch Plains-Fanwood girls’ swimming team made waves in the pool this week, when the girls’ relay team took home a somewhat unlikely repeat victory in the 200 Medley at the Meet of Champions in Sewell on Sunday. The team, consisting of senior Stephanie Judge and juniors Erika Frazier and Rachel and DeeDee Maizes, is this week’s selection for the Yeti MMA Athlete of the Week.
Scotch Plains-Fanwood girls’ team matched up against other elite relay teams such as Morristown, Pingry, Ocean City and rival Westfield. The Raiders team of Erika Frazier (Backstroke), Rachel Maizes (Breaststroke), Stephanie Judge (Butterfly), and DeeDee Maizes (Freestyle) tied Mendham's foursome of Kate Alexy, Sarah Daly, Mary Laurita and Kathleen Kemp to win the 200 Medley with a time of 1:46.67.
Although the girls were the defending champions in the event, the repeat was something of a surprise because the relay team had a disappointing seventh place finish in the semifinals, which meant that they had to swim in Lane 1. (The fastest qualifying swimmers usually are placed in the center lanes.)
"I'm so proud of how the girls not only came back to win from an outside lane, but even more proud of how they pushed through to earn a top 8 spot for finals after a slip on the start in prelims," said Scotch Plains-Fanwood swim coach Jess Hulnik. "All four of those swimmers could have easily given up on Saturday, but they didn't and they put themselves in a position to win it on Sunday."
The Meet of Champions victory was also the last time the lady Raiders will compete in the pool this season — a very successful one, at that. The team finished as Union County champions and sectional finalists with a 14-2 record. With another successful season in the books and big victories, especially in this week’s Meet of Champions, the Lady Raiders swim team continues to build its case as one of the school’s most consistently successful sports programs while also adding to the respect it has garnered across the state.
"Last race as a Lady Raider, and we win the medley relay for the 2nd year in a row!! Thanks for giving me the best four years, Raider swimming," senior Stephanie Judge, a previous Yeti MMA Athlete of the Week, posted on Twittter. (Judge will swim at UMASS next year.)
Each Yeti MMA Athlete of the Week honoree is invited to submit an essay entitled, "What It Means to Be a Student-Athlete." The winning submission will receive a $1,000 TAPintoSPF-Yeti MMA scholarship in June 2017.
The Yeti MMA Athlete of the Week is sponsored by Yeti MMA and its owner, David Martin. Located at 2507 Route 22 West in Scotch Plains (next to Bowcraft), the facility offers training in a variety of disciplines: boxing, kickboxing, Brazilian jiu jitsu, Muay Thai, wrestling, and strength training. Call (908) 858-5558 and mention the TAPintoSPF-Yeti MMA Athlete of the Week and get a 15% discount on a one-year membership. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.