by Andrew Garda
It was a big weekend for a Montclair Mounties swim team that has been on a roll since the beginning of the season.
Both the boys and girls squads finished second in Monday’s Super Essex Conference Championship. The boys edged Millburn by just under 15 points, 187.3 to 172.4, with both trailing first-place Seton Hall Prep by nearly 200 points. Meanwhile, the girls beat West Orange 160.3 to 155.4, trailing first place Columbia, which scored 187.2.
Individually, Devon Muldoon continued to swim very well and was awarded the Cullen Jones Award, named after an Essex County swimmer who won a gold medal at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing as a member of the U.S. 400 freestyle relay team. It is awarded every year to the Most Valuable Swimmer (boy and girl) at the Essex County Swimming Championships.
This is the first time a Montclair High School swimmer has won the award since 2014, when Marc Sambolin took it for the third year in a row.
Muldoon won the girls 200-yard individual medley with a time of 2:11.88, beating Millburn’s Alyssa Levy by almost six seconds. She also won the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 59.40 seconds. Millie Steffe finished that race in fifth with a time of 1:04.65.
The girls placed fourth in the 200-yard freestyle relay with a time of 1:46.73, third in the 400-yard freestyle relay and fourth in the 200-yard medley relay.
Gaea Caro placed fifth with a time of 1:13.36 in the 100-yard breaststroke and Mia Padberg finished sixth in the 200-yard IM with a time of 2:23.04.
While the Mountie boys didn’t win any races, they were competitive enough on a race-by-race basis to stay ahead of most of the overall field.
In the 50-yard freestyle, Mizell McEachin finished fourth with a time of 22.88, while Steven Iovine’s 23.21 was good enough to land him in fifth place. McEachin also finished third in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 50.88.
Tommy White finished third in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 56.05 followed by Tommy White, Alex Petroff, who finished fourth, swimming a time of 57.67.
The Mounties also did well in the relays, which helped place them in second overall.
They finished second in the 400-yard freestyle relay with a time of 3:28.10, put up a 1:36.45 time in the 200-yard freestyle relay for third-place and came in fifth in the 200-yard medley relay with a time of 1:46.36.
Montclair Kimberley Academy also competed this past Monday, with Patrick Flint the team’s sole winner. Flint won both the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 1:57.22 and the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:48.43.
Flint’s victories accounted for two of the only three events Seton Hall Prep swimmers didn’t win.
Both sets of Mounties continue to swim very well this season, with duplicate records of 6-1 and will face off against Columbia on Thursday, Jan. 18. The boys will then take on Seton Hall Prep, while the girls face the Prep’s sister school, Mount St. Dominic, Jan. 23 at the Clifton Boys & Girls Club.