By Emma Piascik
The atmosphere on deck reverberated with cheers on Saturday as hundreds of swimmers from across Morris County blazed through the Morristown High School pool, shattering several individual and team records.
Many races came down to the last millisecond in the tightly contested county championship. When the waves settled, the top three performing girls teams were: Chatham, Morristown and Mountain Lakes. The powerhouse Chatham girls team now has won first place at counties for nine consecutive years.
On the boys side, Morristown outscored Delbarton and Mountain Lakes. It was the fourth straight county title for the Morristown boys — a feat they never have achieved before.
Excitement started when the Chatham girls’ medley relay, including Crater, Iizuka, Gorham and Tingley, broke 2:00, blowing the rest of their heat out of the water.
Likewise, the Morristown boys — Macchia, Breslin, Cromie and He — broke their 200 medley relay, combining for a 1:48.05 pace. Right after that, Ryan Waters from Morristown Beard swam a 1:51.12 in the 200 freestyle, for the Morris County record.
In the 200 IM, Mike Macchia broke his own Morristown record, posting a 2:06.64. Right next to him, Joe Scerbo from Mountain Lakes updated the Morris County record with his 2:05.18.
The momentum continued with Matthew Luciano from Mountain Lakes posting a 55.49 in the 100 fly, breaking another Morris County record. And in the girls 100 fly, Mary Laurita from Mendham broke the meet record, going at 1:02.70.
Several more Morristown girls shattered team records after the first break. Sophomore Emily Skilton broke the 100 free record, posting a 59.25. Grace Miller, a freshman, took down the 400 freestyle record, swimming a 4:30.53.
Both the boys and girls of Morristown set new 200 freestyle relay records. He, Breslin, Delargy and Hyland worked together to finish with a 1:38.84, while Crowley, Skilton, Ratcliff and Barkemeyer posted a 1:49.41.
Morristown Beard’s Ryan Waters set a 400 free meet record, swimming a 3:56.33. Just as impressively, Victoria Eisenhower of Montville swam a 1:11.81 in the 100 breast-stroke, breaking away from the rest of her heat.
Ending the meet with a bang, the Morristown girls (Ratcliff, Crowley, Miller, Webber) broke their 400 free relay, collectively swimming a 4:02.38. Not to be outdone, the Morristown boys set a meet record with 3:38.86.
The record-beaking Morris County Championship Meet of 2017 will be one to remember for everyone–and especially for Morristown.
“Both the boys and the girls did really well today,” said Morristown Head Coach Donna Gelegonya. But nobody’s taking any victory laps yet. Sectional- and state titles still beckon.
“We aren’t done yet. We still have a long way to go,” Gelegonya said,
Emma Piascik is a Morristown High School senior.