EDISON, NJ -- Logan D’Amore of Scotch Plains lived up to his seeding and achieved his goal of winning two gold medals at the NJ Prep State Swimming Championships at The Lawrenceville School’s Lavino Pool on Feb. 4.
The Wardlaw+Hartridge School senior standout swam to victory in two different events at the championship level for the second consecutive meet, prevailing in the 200-yard freestyle (1:41.83) and 500-yard freestyle (4:40.88) just 10 days after capturing gold medals in the 100-yard free and 200-yard individual medley at the Greater Middlesex County finals.
“I came into the meet not worried about the times, mainly because this is in the season where I am training the most and training the hardest. I didn’t want to get caught up in that thought of “oh, that’s not really close to my best time” because I know how my body was feeling and how hard I am training right now. I simply came to the meet to put my hand on the wall first and to do that is an awesome feeling,” D’Amore said.
D’Amore defeated Delbarton freshman phenom Rob Alexy in both races at the Prep meet. The 200 proved to be the more difficult race, with D’Amore being tested early and not able to pull away until the final two laps. Logan won comfortably and hit the wall about one second in front of the rest of the field.
“My strategy was to go out a little slower than my pace mainly because I knew the kids around me were mostly sprinters,” Logan said. “Then on the second 100 I really pushed the legs and increased my stroke rate to put together a race I was happy about. I knew that Rob Alexy is an extremely talented freshman and would put together a great race, so I was excited to see what I could do especially during this time in the short course season.”
A little more than an hour later, Logan returned to the blocks ready to defend his 500 free title. He swam a beautiful race, taking control early and increasing his lead during 20 grueling laps to win by more than five seconds and claim his third Prep gold in the past two years.
“Whenever I go to meets, I warm down a lot after races to flush out the lactic acid in my body before another race so my body feels ready to go. To not have another pool to warm down in, and because of my size, I knew that the 500 was going to hurt more than usual. I simply tried to remember a pace that I have done during practice that I felt was going to help me win the race with enough energy at the end,” Logan said.
Logan now sets his sights on the NJSIAA Meet of Champions in March. He plans to continue training through the state’s most prestigious event, with YMCA Nationals in early April also on his mind. He has qualified for the M of C in many events and plans to strategize with his coaches to decide which events to swim against the state’s best, with a goal of placing in the top eight.
The Wardlaw+Hartridge School (1295 Inman Ave., N. Edison) is Central Jersey’s premier PreK-12 independent school. The campus is located near the Scotch Plains border and just five miles from downtown Westfield. It is a private, nonsectarian, coeducational day school that prepares students to lead and succeed in a world of global interconnection. Wardlaw+Hartridge provides an educational atmosphere characterized by academic challenge, support for individual excellence, diversity, and a familial sense of community.
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