Jackson girls show promise at county meet

BY MIKE WHITE Staff Writer

Staff Writer

SCOTT PILLING staff Jackson Memorial's Cassie Williamson competes in the butterfly portion of the 200-yard medley relay during Saturday's Ocean County Swimming Championships at the Ocean County YMCA in Toms River.SCOTT PILLING staff Jackson Memorial’s Cassie Williamson competes in the butterfly portion of the 200-yard medley relay during Saturday’s Ocean County Swimming Championships at the Ocean County YMCA in Toms River. JACKSON – Jackson High School girls swim coach Janet Carvin could not have been happier with her team’s performance at the Ocean County Championships last weekend.

The Lady Jaguars surprised a lot of people, including Carvin, by finishing in eighth place over with a total of 110 points. As expected, Toms River North captured the meet with 334 points to edge crosstown rival Toms River East, who put forth a strong showing with 301.

“I think our girls did an awesome job,” Carvin said. “We finished much better than I thought we would. We have an extremely young team. For them to come in here and compete the way they did against the like of the Toms River schools was great. I thought we had a number of terrific performances.”

Junior Marissa Soprano had quite a night by setting a new school record in the 100 breaststroke to finish sixth overall with a time of 1:15.0. Soprano shattered her old school record by more than a second.

“She had set a new record earlier in the season, and then for her to come out here and break it again is just amazing,” Carvin said. “She swam the race exactly the way we had talked about in practice. She went after it in spots where she was supposed to. She could not have done a better job.”

In addition, Soprano set a new personal-best time in the 100 freestyle with a time of 1:02.20.

Cassie Williamson was seventh overall in the 100 butterfly. Williamson, one of the few seniors on the squad, finished the race in a personal-best time of 1:08.30. That’s nearly 11 seconds faster than her previous best time.

“That drop is truly unbelievable,” Carvin said. “But she has worked so hard this year and her effort is really paying off.”

Ali Wojtaszek was seventh in the 100 backstroke in a personal-best time of 1:10.80. Carvin was impressed with all of her swimmers.

“Ninety-five percent of the kids who compete in this meet set new personal-best times,” Carvin said. “That is one of major goals when we begin the season is to continue to shave seconds off our time. We want the girls to continue to work hard and become better at their strokes, which leads to a drop in time.”

The medley relay team of Wojtaszek, Soprano, Williamson and Megan Maloney posted a personal-best time of 2:07.50.

Furthermore, Maloney dropped her best time in the 500 free from 6:19 to 6:11.

“This really is our main meet of the year as a team,” Carvin said. “The girls were tapered for this meet. We send a lot of girls to this meet, so we considered it very important.”

Jackson, which is 5-3 overall in dual meets, will be hosting The Novice Meet, for swimmers from teams that did not qualify for the Shore Conference meet, at the Ocean County YMCA.

“It is a nice championship meet for those who do not make it to the Shore Conference meet,” Carvin said. “We’ve been doing it for about five years and we always have a great turnout and the kids and coaches love it. We’re looking forward it to it.”