Sports

Westfield's 'Coach Judy' Nurtures Swimmers for 41st Summer

d9f7a8e7f09f28c0d010_judy.jpg
Lee demonstrates a breaststroke glide during practice. Credits: Jill D'Ambrosio
2835e7250a32b7bde806_judy_006.JPG
Young swimmers check in with Lee after their butterfly race at Westfield Memorial Pool against West Orange. Credits: Jill D'Ambrosio
d9f7a8e7f09f28c0d010_judy.jpg

WESTFIELD, NJ – On a recent July morning, Judy Lee, head coach of the Westfield Memorial Pool Marlins swim team, sat poolside with a group of young swimmers before practice to discuss the team’s first meet of the season planned for that night at Manor Park.

“What do you think you should bring to a swim meet?” Lee asked the children.

Children volunteered answers such as goggles, caps, water and snacks, and Lee also suggested an extra towel and a book or small game to keep them busy between races. After the talk, the kids hopped in the water and Lee began coaching as she has each summer for 41 years at Memorial Pool.

Sign Up for E-News

In Westfield, where swimming is a hugely popular sport, Lee is a legend for helping swimmers of all levels find enjoyment and improvement from participation in summer swim team. Kids and parents say she has nurtured generations of swimmers while making practices and competition fun.

“It was this team that made me like the sport,” said Matt Daniel, 19, one of Lee’s assistant coaches, who started competing for Memorial when he was seven, swam for Westfield High School's award-winning team and now swims for the University of Delaware. “Judy gave me a love of the sport.”

Lee, 64, says that she started coaching “unofficially” in 1973. That summer, she was hired to check ID cards at Memorial's front booth and eventually started helping the head swim coach when it didn’t interfere with her regular job. When that coach took another position the following summer, Lee stepped in.

“Westfield swimming is a pretty big deal, so I kind of liked feeding our kids into that program,” she said. “The nice thing is coming back year after year. The kids come back year after year.”

About 250 swimmers are part of the Marlins swim team this summer, and Lee estimates that roughly 90 percent of the children return each year to participate.

Growing up in Greenfield Village in South Jersey, Lee started swimming in the summers on local teams that were part of a highly competitive tri-county league. Summer teams trained together in the winter.

“We would use our winter to stay in shape for the summer, whereas here it’s flipped. We use the summer to stay in shape for the winter,” she noted.

Lee excelled at butterfly, but later played field hockey, basketball and tennis at West Deptford High School because the school did not have a swim team. She coached local swim teams during summer breaks from college.

In the Marlins’ off season, Lee is a high school math teacher and swimming and field hockey coach at the Pingry School in Basking Ridge. She lives in Basking Ridge with her husband, Harry.

Earlier this year, Lee was honored as Somerset County’s girls’ swimming coach of the year by The Star Ledger. Lee is also a member of the New Jersey Scholastic Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

Parent representative Beth Riordan has three children who swim for the Marlins during the summer and for the Westfield Area Y in the fall and winter months. She says she breathes a sigh of relief each year when she sees Lee listed as the Marlins coach.

“Judy’s coaching style is special because of her versatility,” Riordan said. “She is able to communicate effectively with kindergarteners through high school graduates. She truly watches each of her swimmers in practice and meets and gives thoughtful feedback on their strokes, turns, races.”

Riordan’s son Michael, 11, said he particularly enjoys how Lee makes practices fun with the biggest splash contests, relay races and themes such as crazy hat week or red, white and blue week.

Many Marlins gather around “Coach Judy” to check in with her following their races and discuss how they went.

“She appreciates all levels of swimming,” said Daniel.

Away from the pool, Lee and her husband enjoy golfing. She is part of a master’s swim club at Berkeley Aquatic Club. She and her husband are contemplating their plans when they retire down the road.

“We’re anticipating doing the travel thing, but I don’t anticipate giving up my summer [job],” she said.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Westfield

I-78 Closed Near Exit 43 in Both Directions During Rush Hour Due to Major Accident

July 19, 2018

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ — Interstate 78 was closed in both directions following a serious motor vehicle crash on I78 Westbound, near Exit 43, at Diamond Hill Road, according to multiple reports. 

Traffic was being detoured while accident investigation is taking place and all lanes were closed.

According to a report on Breaking News Network (BNN), the ...

Corruption Has No Place in Union County

July 19, 2018

The Union County Freeholders’ decision to appoint State Senator and newly-elected Union County Democratic Chairman Nick Scutari’s chief of staff, Ed Oatman, as county manager smelled of corruption from the start. To place a political consultant like Oatman in the role of overseeing 2,800 employees and running the day-to-day operations of the $500 million county budget suggests ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_b8addcbb02045632d9da_450ab88ad88859a2c3df_rlc_rummage_sale_002

Sat, July 21, 9:00 AM

Westfield Community Center , Westfield

Rummage Sale

Carousel_image_d2cfc9c7a325c1543d9d_spb-4962_newsletter_july_23

Mon, July 23, 7:00 PM

TD Bank Ballpark, Bridgewater

Southern Maryland Blue Crabs vs. Somerset Patriots

Arts & Entertainment Sports

Westfield Police Blotter: Multiple Businesses Report Thefts & More

July 18, 2018

July 11,2018 3:50 p.m.

A business located on the 100 block of Central Avenue reports being the victim of a theft. Unknown actor came into the business and removed $2,200.00 worth of property.

July 12, 2018 2:40 a.m.

Danny Burke, age 32, of Edison, NJ was arrested for driving while intoxicated pursuant a motor vehicle stop. Subject was arrested, processed and released to a ...

The Somerset Patriots And 9-1-1 On FOX Are Looking For Hero First Responders

July 20, 2018

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - The Somerset Patriots and 9-1-1 On FOX are asking for Hero First Responder nominations from the community.

Nominate a first responder to be recognized on the field during the pre-game ceremony and throw out a ceremonial first pitch at the Saturday, August 4 Somerset Patriots game against the New Britain Bees at TD Bank Ballpark. Three first responders will be chosen ...

IRS Working on a New Form 1040 for 2019 Tax Season

The IRS plans to streamline the Form 1040 into a shorter, simpler form for the 2019 tax season. The new 1040 – about half the size of the current version – would replace the current Form 1040 as well as the Form 1040A and the Form 1040EZ. 

 

This new approach will simplify the 1040 so that all 150 million taxpayers can use the same form. The new form ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 18

On this week’s AtlantiCast, you’ll find out how accessing care at Atlantic Health System is now easier, more affordable and closer to home than ever, learn which item from the produce aisle could be the newest weapon against cancer, see what Atlantic Health System, the New York Times and Instagram all have in common and much more.

 

 

Picking up the Pieces – The Benefits of Account Consolidation

Over a lifetime of investing we often have numerous accounts located at different financial firms.  Rarely are these accounts managed with a grand plan that takes into account all the individual pieces.   Account proliferation can be detrimental to your investment performance, increase your risk profile, and lighten your pocketbook.  

Account consolidation offers the ...

Big Changes in Store for New Jersey’s Employers and Employees

Big changes are in store for New Jersey’s workplaces, with dramatic legislation aimed at improving conditions for New Jersey’s workers. These changes include the enactment of New Jersey’s Equal Pay Act, a new law to help the unemployed, and passage of New Jersey’s Paid Sick Leave Act. Most likely one or all these laws will impact you or someone in your family.

New ...

5 Simple Ways to Save Water this Summer

According to the L.A. Times, the average American uses an estimated 98 gallons of water EACH day.  

Here are five simple ways you can save water, to help you conserve water this summer and take some pressure off of your drains.

1. Unless you are using it, turn the faucet off. How many of us still leave the water running while we shave or brush our teeth?According to ...

26 Homes Sold July 8-15 in Westfield and Surrounding Towns

There were 26 homes sold between July 8 and July 15 in Westfield, Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Cranford and Mountainside`

TOWN          ADDRESS    STYLE            RMS   BRS BTH   GAR   Sale Price

Cranford  115  Bryant Ave ...

Dog Found in Garwood

UPDATE: Reunited with owner.

ORIGINAL POST: Dog found on Pine Avenue in Garwood. He was given food and water. Garwood police now has him. Sweet and friendly. Contact the Garwood Police Department.

It's Not What You Are Eating, It's What's Eating You

EMOTIONAL EATING: FEEDING YOUR FEELINGS

Emotional eating can be described as episodes of binge-eating, grazing and/or eating when not hungry to soothe feelings. Emotional eaters have a pattern of eating to cope with stress, emotional conflicts and problems of daily life.

Emotional eating is eating for reasons other than hunger. Instead of physical symptoms initiating the eating, ...

ELL Summer Experience at Westfield Public Schools

Westfield students representing six different languages recently enjoyed a weeklong summer camp focused on providing meaningful enrichment activities for students to continue their English language acquisition while having fun.

The ELL (English Language Learners) Summer Experience ran from July 9-13 at Wilson School, welcoming students in grades 1-4 whose native languages are Russian, ...

Westfield Area YMCA: Take Swim Lessions This Summer

The Westfield Area YMCA is providing a free one-week guest pass to non-members which will also enable access to purchase a week of swim lessons at full member rates during the summer.  The one-week guest pass includes use of the Y’s fitness facilities, land and water group exercise classes and open gym/swim.

“Our goal is to have people of all ages and skill levels grow to ...

Lindabury, McCormick, Estabrook & Cooper Welcomes Stephen A. Timoni to Firm

Lindabury, McCormick, Estabrook & Cooper P.C., announced that Stephen A. Timoni has joined the firm in its Westfield office. Stephen will focus his practice in the areas of Corporate and Health Care Law.

“Stephen brings additional depth and experience to our firm. He has tremendous experience in complex corporate, M&A and health care areas of practice. We anticipate that Stephen ...

Livingston Council Votes on Ordinance to Prohibit Vape Shops

July 19, 2018

LIVINGSTON, NJ — Concern about the increased use of electronic cigarettes and other vapor products were among the reasons why the Livingston Township Council adopted an ordinance prohibiting “vape shops,” or any establishment that primarily sells “electronic devices, liquid nicotine or vapor products,” in the township’s retail commercial ...

Obituaries

Eric Lieberman, 47, of Scotch Plains, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly Tuesday, May 22, 2018 ...
Read more