courtesy MHS swimming
The Montclair High School boys and girls swim teams continued their standout seasons last week, with the girls cruising to victories over Mount St. Dominic and Livingston, and the boys eking out a thrilling triumph over Livingston but falling to state powerhouse Seton Hall Prep.
The strong results bode well for both teams, which are hoping to earn high seeds next week for the coming state tournament.
Against Livingston on Jan. 26, in an atypical four-lane pool, the Montclair boys were tied at 41-41 after nine events. But first- and third-place finishes in the breaststroke by Justin Ellis, a sophomore, and Jarrett Driever, a freshman, gave the Mounties a slim lead heading into the final event, the 400 freestyle relay. A win by Livingston in the relay would have clinched at least a tie, but Montclair came in first and second, and prevailed 52-42.
Individual winners were Ellis (who also won the 100 freestyle), Driever (200 individual medley), sophomore Tommy White (200 freestyle), junior Bailey Morganlander (500 freestyle) and freshman Alex Petroff (100 backstroke).
The Montclair girls also battled a determined Livingston squad, leading by only a handful of points in the first half of the meet. But the girls started to pull away when freshman Millie Steffe and junior Louisa Skerry took one-two in the 500 freestyle. That was followed by a photo-finish victory in the 200 freestyle relay by the quartet of junior Maya Crawford, senior Jordan Caro, senior Amy Chen and sophomore Mia Padberg.
The final score was 62-32. Other individual winners for Montclair were freshman Devon Muldoon (200 IM and 100 backstroke), junior Kathrynna Demetillo (200 freestyle) and Crawford (50 freestyle).
Against Mount St. Dominic on Jan. 23, the Montclair girls were clinging to a 68-56 lead before Muldoon, Steffe and Chen took 1-2- 3 in the 100 backstroke. The final score was 100-70, led by individual winners Muldoon (200 IM), Crawford (50 freestyle) and
Demetillo (100 butterfly).
Against Seton Hall Prep on Jan. 23, the Montclair boys posted some of their fastest times of the year in several events, but fell 119-51. Standout performances included the winning 400 freestyle relay team of White, Driever, sophomore Roman Miklaszewski and freshman Mizell McEachin. The 200 freestyle relay team of senior Steven Iovine, Ellis, White and McEachin came in second, and narrowly missed a Meet of Champions cut.
Both teams are now 8-2 on the season. The final regular season meet will occur on Friday, Feb. 2, versus Newark Academy at the Mounties’ home pool at Montclair State University.
By then, both teams should know their placements in the state tournament.