By Warren Rappleyea
The South Brunswick High School and North Brunswick Township High School swimming teams turned in strong showings this week at the Greater Middlesex Conference (GMC) Tournament.
South Brunswick’s girls and boys both finished fourth overall in the team standings. The Lady Vikings compiled 369 points. The highlights included a third-place showing in the 200-yard freestyle relay by Shannen Sterner, Kristen Chung, Ally Machlis and Megan Ung.
Chelsea Li added a sixth-place finish in the 100 backstroke and also took seventh in the 100 freestyle. Sophomore Nina Mendes was seventh in the 500 freestyle and eighth in the 200 freestyle. Cassie Cipriano was seventh in the 100 butterfly. The Lady Vikings also took fifth in the 200 relay medley and sixth in the 400 freestyle relay.
“We have a lot of depth, and that always helps because you need all the points you can get,” South Brunswick coach Lorie Rouna said. “The girls did an outstanding job of showing up for every event and getting something out of them.”
South Brunswick finished ahead of rival North Brunswick, which finished fifth despite an outstanding performance by Melanie Fosko, who won the 100 freestyle with a time of 53.77. Fosko was second in the 200 individual medley behind Bishop George Ahr High School freshman Sarah Hardy, who set a meet record of 2:08.38.
The Raiders’ Dana Park finished fourth in the 100 breaststroke. North Brunswick finished second in the 200 freestyle and fifth in the 400 freestyle relay. East Brunswick High School won the meet, while Metuchen High School and Bishop Ahr were second and third, respectively.
On the boys side, North Brunswick took third place behind Saint Joseph High School of Metuchen, which won the championship for the 38th straight year, and East Brunswick.
Junior Jesse Gibbons turned in a strong showing, taking third place in the 500 freestyle and fifth place in the 200 freestyle. Teammate Adam Luk was third in the 100 butterfly and fifth in the 200 individual medley, and Jordon Leonardo finished sixth in both the 100 freestyle and 100 backstroke.
The Raiders also finished second in the 400 freestyle relay, with Gibbons playing a key role, and fourth place in the 200 medley relay.
For South Brunswick, Seth Weingarten finished fourth in the 100 breaststroke and was also part of the foursome that took third-place in the 200 freestyle relay.
North Brunswick was scheduled to meet South Brunswick Feb. 1 in both boys and girls meets in the opening round of the NJSIAA Central Public A Tournament.
In action on the hardwood, South Brunswick’s boys upped their record to 12-2 with three victories over the past week.
Eric Savage scored 22 points and Michael Ugarte added 17 points in a 78-19 win over Toms River High School South Jan. 30. On Jan. 28, the Vikings used a 20-10 run in the fourth quarter to upend North Brunswick, 59-51, as four players scored in double figures. Savage led the way with 19 points, while Ryan Moran pitched in with 15, Ugarte added 13 and Jaier Garrett scored 11.
Moran’s 3-pointer with just five seconds to go — his third trey of the night — gave the Vikings a 57-56 victory against East Brunswick Jan. 26. Savage again paced the attack with 24 points, and Garrett added 12 points.
South Brunswick’s girls split a pair of games and are now 9-5 following a 45-41 success against Edison High School Jan. 28. Amber Brown led the way with 17 points, and Natalia Louhisdon had 13 points. Two days earlier, the Lady Vikings fell to East Brunswick, 45-37, despite another 17-point game from Brown and 10 points by Louhisdon.
North Brunswick’s girls are 5-11 following two losses last week. Woodbridge High School downed the Raiders, 50-40, Jan. 30. Kayla Scher scored 13 points in the loss. On Jan. 26, Bishop Ahr took a 69-43 decision despite 13 points from Alex Walker and 10 points apiece from Tatum Altman and Renee Halas.
Following its loss to South Brunswick, the North Brunswick boys fell to Central Regional High School, 72-65, Jan. 30. Francis Omowole and Prenay Bhandare had 15 points each against the Vikings. The Raiders are 3-11.