SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ -- Late February is usually tournament season for high school swimming, but with COVID-related realignments of sports schedules, Scotch Plains-Fanwood girls swimming will begin this week. 

Under normal circumstances, 2021 would have been a year in which the Raider girls had a legitimate shot at a state championship. The current juniors and seniors were major factors in Scotch Plains-Fanwood's 2019 Union County championship, and with maturation, they would have been in a strong position to advance deep into the state tournament. But this year, there won't be one.

"It stinks," said longtime varsity swim coach Jess Hulnik. "But after a spring season where we had nothing, I am glad that we are able to do something, especially for the seniors who have been very positive so far this season."

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Five seniors lead the team: Lily Holston, who is strong in the freestyle distance and breaststroke events; Sofia Leonetti, a breaststroker, who finished in 4th place finish at the 2019 Union County tournament (UCT); Emma Route, a backstroker and breaststroker who brings great spirit and energy to the team; Abby Ryan, a versatile swimmer who qualitifed for the Meet of Champions (MOC), placed 3rd in the 100 breaststroke at the UCT, and is a strong relay swimmer in any stroke; and Rachel Small, who is strong as a freestyle sprinter and backstroker and had top 10 finishes at UCT in the 100 free and 100 back.

Among the juniors: Julia Bonhote is the returning Union County champion in the 50 and 100 freestyle, and was the 5th place finisher in the 50 free at the Meet of Champions; Camille Cooke had a top 16 finish in the butterfly at the UCT; Sophie Gallahue had a top 16 finish in the 500 freestyle at the UCT; Katelyn Gaulin finished in the top 10 among breaststrokers at the UCT; Chloe Howell is a versatile swimmer who had top 16 finishes in the 200 IM and 100 freestyle at the UCT; Lily Hughes is the returning UCT Champion in the 100 backstroke and finished 6th in the 100 back at the MOC; Aislinn Mooney is a distance swimmer who was the runner-up in the 500 freestyle and the 4th place finisher at the UCT and qualified for the MOC in both events; and Julianna Warren had a top 16 finish in the 100 butterfly at the UCT.

Sophomores Avery Higinbotham is an up-and-coming distance freestyler and Ava Mustacciuolo had a top 8 finish in the 100 butterfly at UCT. Freshman Billie Rose Sherratt is a strong versatile swimmer who is expected to make an immediate impact, probably in the 200 IM and 100 butterfly.

Tentative Schedule (source: Union County Conference. Meets are virtual.)

  • Tuesday, Feb 23, at 3 p.m. -- New Providence (at Fanwood Scotch Plains YMCA)
  • Thursday, Feb 25, at 3 p.m. -- Away vs. Governor Livingston (at Fanwood Scotch Plains YMCA)
  • Tuesday, Mar 2, 2021 at 3 p.m. -- Cranford at Fanwood Scotch Plains YMCA
  • Thursday, Mar 4, at 3 p.m. -- Away vs. Union (at Fanwood Scotch Plains YMCA)
  • Tuesday, Mar 9, at 3 p.m. -- Elizabeth at Fanwood Scotch Plains YMCA
  • Tuesday, Mar 16, at 3 p.m. -- Oak Knoll at Fanwood Scotch Plains YMCA
  • Thursday, Mar 18, at 3 p.m. -- Away vs. Plainfield (at Fanwood Scotch Plains YMCA)

Scotch Plains-Fanwood Roster (2021)

  • Seniors: Lily Holston, Sofia Leonetti, Emma Route, Abby Ryan, Rachel Small.
  • Juniors: Julia Bonhote, Stephanie Brown, Camille Cooke, Sophie Gallahue, Katelyn Gaulin, Chloe Howell, Lily Hughes, Maddy Joe, Kaitlyn Lusk, Aislinn Mooney, Morgan Tsin, Julianna Warren, Julia Yick.
  • Sophomores: Chloe Burfeindt, Helena Chan, Avery Higinbotham, Sophie Meinke, Ava Mustacciuolo.
  • Freshmen: Hannah Alber, Emma Amorim–Vieira, Katie Fitzgerald, Lily Gaulin, Samantha Hagopian, Lily Jayinski, Carolyn Joe,  Emily Park, Billie Rose  Sherratt, Rebecca Sohmer, Lindsay Trela. is Scotch Plains-Fanwood’s only free daily local news source. Sign up for our free daily eNewsletter and “Like” us on Facebook and Twitter @SPF_TAP. Download the free TAPinto App for iPhone or Android.
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