Summit Boys' Swimming Wins State Title

Credits: Peter Gangi

EWING, NJ - The NJSIAA Public B boys' swimming championship between Summit and Moorestown came down to the final two heats of the morning: the 100-breast and the 400-free relay.

After what looked like a sure-thing win for Moorestown, the Hilltoppers scored 16 points in the last two races to win the State Championship.

"I'm kind of overwhelmed," Summit boys' swimming head coach Luke Piede said. "It was an incredible day. They swam better than what I thought they could do."

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Summit's Ryan Sebastian, Luca Guadagno and Kevin Fries each swam personal bests in their respective races to help lead the Hilltoppers to the win.

Sebastian finished the 100-breast stroke in a career-best 59.42 seconds, a full five second ahead of Moorestown's Alex Martin. However, it was the finishes of Matt Stern (1:06.52) and Khory Kotowski (1:08.33) that steered the Hilltoppers towards the victory.

Stern finished the heat in third, while Kotowski ended up in fifth, earning Summit a combined 10 points.

"To take fifth place in the 100-breast was surprising," Piede said. "The points got us to 82, needing only four points in the 400-free relay, the last race."

The Hilltoppers earned second and third in final race, capped by the performance of Will Benn, Guadagno, Fries and Tim Kostolanski, finishing in 3:17.75, to capture the title.

"They were beyond themselves," Piede said. "Afterwards, some kids were like 'we won?' As we won the relay, there was excitement."

Summit trailed in the meet early, 27-19, however their luck changed in the fourth race, the 50-free. Fries and Will Beckett finished 1-2, with Fries setting a personal best: 21.65. The Hilltoppers earned 11 points in the race, bringing them within two points of Moorestown.

Piede said that's when the team got excited.

Sebastian followed with a first place finish in the 100-fly, just barely outstretching Zach Fong by .18 seconds.

Tim Kostolansky and Guadagno each also won races to contribute to the championship.

"For us, we kind of knew we had an opportunity [this year]," Peade said. "We know the traditions at Summit, but its nice to fit into it. The crowd was dominated by Summit people. It was nice to see the town behind us."

While the team as a whole is finished with their season, Summit will send six players to compete for individual state titles. Sebastian, Kostolansky, Fries, Guadagno, Will Beckett and Will Benn all qualified for states.

"In a normal year, [having six guys compete] is not normal," Piede said. "But the last couple of years its been around there."

With the way Summit ended their season, with the Public B State Championship, its safe to say the 2012-13 season was not a normal year in the pool.

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