St. Joseph’s perseveres at Pirate Invitational

Savulich leads St. Joe


Staff Writer

METUCHEN — The St. Joseph High School boys swimming team was down by nine points with two events left in Sunday’s West Windsor Plainsboro South Pirate Invitational.

Heading into the next-to-last event, the 100 breaststroke, the Falcons were seeded third and ninth. Scott Marino took second in 1:02.24 and Brian Green finished in seventh place in 1:04.46. Green’s fast time secured him the seventh-place finish, but he also took first in his heat to secure an additional point.

“Brian did something we didn’t expect him to do,” St. Joseph head coach Steve Whittington said. “Instead of the six points, he earned another for taking his heat.”

In the final event, the 400-freestyle relay, senior Bobby Savulich teamed up with Bobby Besner, Jimmy Clarkin and Greg Guldin to finish second and capture first place with 249 points, just three ahead of second-place finisher CBA’s 246. Hillsborough took third with 137 points.

The 400-freestyle relay team finished in 3:17.93 behind the strength of Savulich’s 44.16 split.

“I have never seen someone split a 44 for a relay,” Whittington said. “Probably most of the people on the deck hadn’t seen it either. You see something like that in the NCAA finals.”

No one at the Pirate Invitational had seen someone win the Invitational’s MVP for the third straight year either, but that didn’t stop Savulich. He won the coveted title with the help of setting two meet records.

In the preliminaries for the 200-freestyle event, Savulich set a school and meet record with a time of 1:37.51. The next fastest time turned in was 1:46, which was followed by a 1:49.

Savulich won the event with a 1:43 in the finals. His second meet record and school record came in the 100 freestyle with a time of 45.36.

“The only thing it wasn’t was a world record,” Whittington said. “It was a great meet for Bobby.”

As if that wasn’t enough, Savulich also teamed up with Stephon Rosales, Scott Marino and Phil Luzny to set a new meet record in the day’s opening event, the 200-medley relay. The foursome swam a 1:39.86 to beat the old record of 1:40.15.

“Those guys are athletes,” Whittington said. “They give their best every time they swim.”

Marino took fourth in the 200 individual medley in 2:03.92 while teammate John Birack finished in sixth at 2:10.17.

Luzny, just a sophomore, swam a personal best in the 100 butterfly in a time of 53.29 to capture second place while Michael Jensen and Guldin took fifth and sixth respectively in the 500 freestyle. Jensen finished in 5:10.66 and Guldin in 5:12.64

Rosales and Marino teamed up with David Ford and Justin Morgan to take third in the 200-freestyle relay in 1:33.43. In the 100 backstroke, Billy Swenson finished third in 56.79, while Rosales claimed sixth in 1:01.47.

Before Savulich heads off to swim for the University of Michigan and Olympic coach Bob Bowman, he will lead the Falcons into Friday’s meeting with Piscataway at Raritan Valley Community College. Action gets under way at 4 p.m.

On Jan. 22 Savulich and the Falcons will travel to the Nassau County Aquatic Center at Eisenhower Park to swim in the Eastern States Finals on Long Island.