Touch and Go: Summit High Girls 400 Free Relay Team's Podium Finish Highlights Hilltopper Swimmers' Success at Meet of Champions

The Girls 400 Medley Relay after their awards ceremony - from left, Abby Claus, Kaitlyn Hersch, Coach John Ross, Julia Bligh, and Natalie Wisniewski.
On the second-place podium, from left, Abby Claus, Kaitlyn Hersch, Julia Bligh, and Natalie Wisniewski.
Boys 200 Free Relay Team, from left, Cole Bligh, Dylan Ingerman, Coach Luke Piede, Connor Fagan, and Ben Campbell.

SEWELL, NJ - The Summit High School Girls 400 Freestyle Relay Team of Natalie Wisniewski, Julia Bligh, Katitlyn Hersch and Abby Claus swam to a second-place finish in their heat -- setting a new school record in the process -- and finished in 16th place overall as Hilltopper swimmers competed in the NJSIAA State Championship, known as the Meet of Champions, at Gloucester Institute of Technology in Sewell.

In the preliminary round on Saturday, March 4, Summit's girls 200 Medley Relay team of Bligh (backstroke), Hersch (breaststroke), Claus (butterfly) and Wisniewski (freestyle) swam to 25th overall, just missing a chance to swim in finals by one spot. Their time of 1:53.73 was the second fastest time they had posted all season.

Claus finished 26th in the 50 Free with a 24.89, and the senior took 23rd in the 100 Free with a 54.18. The 400 Freestyle Relay team combined for 18th place with a 3:42.89 and a spot in the coveted Final Round, to take place the following morning.

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In the boys' preliminary round, junior Dylan Ingerman finished 34th in the 50 Free with a 22.37. The 200 Freestyle Relay of Cole Bligh, Ingerman, Conor Fagan and Ben Campbell finished 33rd in a time of 1:32.53, slightly off their best time of the year.

During finals on Sunday, March 5, the girls 400 Free Relay team swam an inspired race to finished second in their heat in a time of 3:41.68, smashing the previous school mark -- set earlier this season -- by more than half a second.

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