Viking boys heating up the pool

South defeats EB for the first time to extend record win streak

By: Carolyn M. Hartko
   With two more checks in the win column last week, the South Brunswick High School boys’ swim team is enjoying a school-record six-meet winning streak, raising its record to 6-1.
   By far the most satisfying victory for the Vikings was a 90-80 squeaker against East Brunswick. This is the first time in the history of the SBHS swimming program that South has beaten the Bears.
   The lead changed several times during the meet, and the whole thing came down to the last two events.
   "We won the 100 breast stroke, but we only won it by one tenth of a second," Viking coach John Harding said. "That right there could have been the difference in the last event. (Bears head coach Charlie Ginex) had to try to go for first and second place in the last relay, so he had to make two good teams instead of just one strong one, and one weaker one. And we were able to keep our strong relay together, so neither of the teams he put together could beat the one we had."
   Winning that 400 free relay sealed the victory for the Vikings. In addition, South won the 200 free relay, and had three individual winners in Tyler Wardlow (200 free, 100 backstroke), Henry Ma (breast stroke, 200 individual medley) and Wil Samtur (100 free).
   The boys had a much easier time of it in a non-conference meet against Hightstown (120-50). The Vikings swept all three relays. Tyler Wardlow won the same two events, while brother Travis took the 500 free. Brian Lee aced the 100 butterfly, and Ma touched first in the breast stroke.
   The Lady Vikings had three meets last week, beating Hightstown 105-65, but falling to the Lady Bears 94-75. On Friday, the girls swam against Greater Middlesex Conference leader Bishop Ahr, and lost to the powerhouse 103-67. The Lady Vikings are now 4-5.
   Spurred on by the good competition against the Lady Trojans, freshman Amy McMahon won the 500 free with a new class record time of 5:42.61, which is just four seconds slower than the overall school record. The only other Viking first was in the 200 free relay with Liz Samtur, Lauren Dai, Stephanie Lau and Stephanie Bartolotta. Since it was the third meet in one week for the girls, Harding made good use of his roster, allowing every girl on the team to swim at least two events.
   "The coach from Bishop Ahr has a very good philosophy, really trying to make the meet close," the Viking coach said. "He wasn’t trying to take it too easy on us, but I think he likes to try to spread out his lineup so he can make some interesting races."
   The girls also won the 200 free relay against East Brunswick. The individual SB winners were McMahon (100 fly, 200 IM), Samtur (100 free), Dai (100 back) and Laura Freneaux (100 breast stroke).
   "We were able to win some races, but we just didn’t have enough depth," Harding said of the girls’ EB contest. "The girls would have liked to win, but they were happy to make it a very close meet. Last year, East Brunswick destroyed us."
   As with the boys’ squad, the Lady Vikings cleaned up against Hightstown. Samtur doubled, winning the 50 free and the fly. The other individual firsts went to Bartolotta (200 free), McMahon (100 free) and Dai (back).
   After such a hectic week, the Vikings were looking forward to a slower pace. They were due to swim against Sayreville on Tuesday of this week, and they will host Old Bridge a week from Friday.