HILLSBOROUGH: Roycefield Rapids open with two swim wins

Boys best the girls in annual morale-boosting meet

   Posting two wins, the Roycefield Rapids started their dual meet season in fast fashion.
   In the opener the Rapids defeated the Willows Wave of Kendall Park, before topping the East Brunswick Sandpipers.
   Many swimmers contributed to the Rapids success.
   Swimmers placing first, second or third in their events included: Caitlyn Cutts, Nicolene Harkins, Jenna Massi, Kira Pinto, Peter Cipparulo, and Joseph McChesney for age 8U;
   Ella Penko, Mia Pinto, Brian Bull, Michael Harkins, Cole Marra, and James McChesney for age 9-10;
   Marissa Choe, Rachel Karan, Jordan McChesney, Elena Soisson, Haley Tevnan, Skylar Ward, TJ Harkins, Brandon Honwad, Sean Penko, and Thomas Zdroik for age 11-12;
   Megan Bull, Kristina Choe, Jessica D’Agostino, Liliana Passalacqua, Alexandra Temple, Meghan Tevnan, Eric Kohlenstein, and Evan Morgan for age 13-14;
   Jessica Karan, Emma Kohlenstein, Lindsay Temple, Jacob Gonzalez, Sam Hendrix, Ryan Morgan, Kian O’Brien, and Brad Zdroik for age 15-18.
   Records were broken. Thomas Zdroik (12) broke the team’s 100-yard freestyle record for boys 11-12. Smashing Keith Fuhrop’s record of 59.29 seconds, which stood for two decades, Tommy swam a time of 57.70 seconds in the Willows meet, and dropped the time to 56.28 seconds in the East Brunswick meet.
   Another team record dropped in the girls’ 13-18, 200-yard medley relay. Lindsay Temple, Emma Kohlenstein, Megan Bull and Alexandra Temple connected for a time of 2:00.27, breaking a 13-year-old record by more than two seconds.
   The Rapids kicked off their season with an intra-squad meet on June 19. Traditionally, the Rapids boys-versus-girls meet is a fun-filled competition earning the victors “first dibs” on dessert at the swim team picnic. This year, the boys’ team captured that privilege.
   Many swimmers made their career debut. They included Natalie Cook (8U), Jake Passalacqua (8U) and Fiona Lenzo (11-12) in freestyle; Ryan Matrulli (9-10) and Aidan Neuberger (9-10) in breaststroke; Sabrina Nieves (9-10) and Vanessa Nieves (11-12) in backstroke.
   Winning is not the only motivation of the Rapids team; growth and development, team-spirit and fun are important goals. Another Rapids tradition is promoting big brothers and sisters on the team. Younger swimmers are paired with one or two older swimmers, who offer encouragement, guidance and team values.
   The Rapids coaching staff is led by Head Coach Adam Goldberg and Assistant Coach Joe Mehrtens. Junior coaches include Jacob Gonzalez, Emma Kohlenstein, Brendan Lynch, Alexis Petrosino, Stephanie Petrosino and Hanna Soisson. Volunteer coaches include Megan Bull, Kristina Choe, Alyssa Cseh, Ryan Morgan, Lindsay Temple and Brad Zdroik.