SBHS boys gain historic win over Raiders

By: Carolyn M. Hartko
   Santa Claus came early this year for the South Brunswick High School boys’ swim team. In their second meet of the 2005-06 season, the Vikings scored an upset, beating North Brunswick 89-81. It is the first time since the swimming program was established at SBHS that the Vikings have been able to top the Raiders.
   "I knew coming in we’d at least keep it close," Viking head coach John Harding said. "We just added so much depth and new talent this year that I thought if they were on a down year, anything was possible. I wondered if their depth was not going to be there, and it certainly was a big factor today. They certainly have some great kids that won some races, but we wouldn’t go away. We were going to be in there every step of the way."
   In fact, North won eight out of the 11 events, but South Brunswick scored two top three finishes in eight, and was not shut out in any race. The Raiders took an early lead, and after six events, South still trailed by four points (49-45). They finally pulled ahead 56-54 when junior Travis Wardlow won the 500 freestyle (6:14.04), and sophomore Brian Lee took third (6:34.01).
   But it was the 200 free relay that put the Vikings up for good. Three freshman (Tyler Wardlow, Wil Samtur and James Kugal) and sophomore Henry Ma touched out North Brunswick "A" taking first place with a 1:42.32. Then Brian Dai, Mike Ungano, Dillon Diatlo and Ben Lee took third. The 10 points that the relay added gave the Vikings a comfortable 66-58 cushion that held up for the rest of the meet.
   The other Viking individual winner was Tyler Wardlow, who aced the 200 free in 2:03.46. Together, newcomers Tyler Wardlow, W. Samtur and Kugal added first, second or third place points in five separate events. W. Samtur set a new freshman class record in the 100 free (55.58), shaving four seconds off the old mark.
   "I’m so happy for these kids, because we’ve taken our lumps over the years," Harding said. "We have some new young talent, and all the old experienced guys who have been setting good examples, working hard. It finally came together for us. I’m hoping this is not the only team we surprise this year."
   The Lady Vikings ran into a much stronger Lady Raider team, losing to North 107-63. NB coach Greg Anderson mixed up his lineup, but North’s depth and versatility was just too much for SB.
   Freshman Amie McMahon doubled, winning the 200 free and the 100 butterfly. She also swam the opening legs for two second place relay finishes (220 and 400 free). Another freshman, Liz Samtur, took a second in the 100 free, and a third in the 200 IM. McMahon broke a class record in the 100 fly that had been set last week by. Samtur with a personal best of 1:05.9. McMahon also set a new class mark in the 200 free (2:09.16), which is just 1.5 seconds off the school record.