By Bob Nuse, Sports Editor
Both the boys and girls swim teams at Montgomery High have high hopes for success at the end of the season.
But that doesn’t mean the teams can’t have some excitement along the way.
On Tuesday both teams hosted Pingry in meets that came down to the final event. While the girls fell just short with an 87-83 loss, the boys rallied to defeat the Big Blue, 85-84.
“It was really close and exciting,” the Cougar senior Jake Otterbein, who won the 200 freestyle and 100 butterfly in the meet. “Last year we were sectional champs and I hope we can do that again. I think we have a pretty good chance based on how the team is looking right now.”
The Cougars trailed early in the meet but came back and earned the victory when they finished first and third in the final 400 free relay. The win helped the boys improve to 4-2 on the season.
“I am very happy with the team,” Montgomery coach Noelle Keller said. “We have an awesome group of seniors. We have experience. It was great to come down to the last event like that and pull it out. It was exciting.”
Otterbein is part of a talented group of seniors who would like to repeat as sectional champions and perhaps even go further this season. He would like to make the most of his final season with the Cougars.
“We’re lacking in some depth but overall the season has gone well this year,” Otterbein said. “We lost to some tough rivals. It’s sort of bittersweet being my last season because I am going to miss this team next year. It’s been a great experience and a great atmosphere to be a part of the last four years.”
In addition to the two wins from Otterbein, the Cougars picked up wins from Evan O’Meara in the 100 free, Alec Wilson in the 500 free, and Ryan Fitzpatrick in the 100 breaststroke. They also won two of the three relays.
The Montgomery girls fell to 4-3 with their loss to Pingry. But it would be tough to find a team that has faced a tougher schedule than the Cougars, whose other two losses have come to two of the top teams in the state — Immaculate Heart and Bridgewater.
“It challenges them,” Montgomery coach Claire Scarpa said. “You don’t need to win every meet. This was a very exciting meet. We’ve faced some very good competition. I put Immaculate Heart on our schedule. What we did against them was amazing. Now I have a good idea of what they can do against the top teams.
“Right now they’re tired. They had a lot of training over the break with their club teams.”
The Cougars picked up wins from Julia Bland in the 200 individual medley and 500 freestyle, as well as freshmen Hailey Roberti in the 200 free and 100 butterfly. Brigid DiBlasio was a winner in the 100 backstroke.
MONTGOMRY: MHS boys swimmers rally for win
By Bob Nuse, Sports Editor