North Brunswick swimmers headed to MOC


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By Warren Rappleyea

Five North Brunswick Township High School swimmers will compete Feb. 27 in the Meet of Champions (MOC) at the Gloucester County Institute of Technology.

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Melanie Fosko, a junior who won the Greater Middlesex Conference (GMC) title in the 100-yard freestyle and took second place in the 200 individual medley, will compete in both events at the MOC. Fosko’s time of 53.77 in the 100 freestyle set a new team record.

Tri-captain Adam Luk, junior Jordan Leonardo, sophomore Jesse Gibbons and freshman Ashwin Gokhale will compete in the 400 freestyle relay. The foursome took second place in that event at the GMC meet with a time of 3:26.06.

“We’re proud to have them represent our program,” said Carrie Ann Egan-Ragavus, who coaches both North Brunswick’s boys and girls swim teams. “They’ve worked extremely hard to get there. Melanie set a record, and the boys were seeded fourth at the GMC and wound up second.”

The Raiders’ boys team finished the year with a 6-4 record, were third in the GMC meet and knocked off neighboring South Brunswick High School, 96-74, in the first round of the NJSIAA Central Public A tournament.

The versatile Gibbons turned in a superb season. Egan-Ragavus used Gibbons, who excels in freestyle, in a variety of different events, and he consistently picked up points for his team. He went on to finish third in the 500 freestyle and fifth in the 200 freestyle at the GMC meet.

Luk was third in the 100 butterfly and fifth in the 200 individual medley at the GMC event, and Leonardo finished sixth in both the 100 freestyle and the 100 backstroke. Leonardo (backstroke), Gibbons (freestyle) and Luk (butterfly) teamed with junior Andrew Ackerman (breaststroke) to take fourth at the GMC in the 200 medley relay.

“We only had 17 boys this year, and they accomplished a lot,” the coach said. “We’re fortunate that most of them will be back next winter.”

In addition to Luk, North Brunswick will also lose tri-captains Julian Maceren and John Yanchurak, freestyle competitors, to graduation.

Other key returnees include junior freestylers Thomas Bugowski, Jake Donofrio, Humza Khawaja and Akhil Yetukuri and sophomores Rishi Patel, who competes in the breaststroke and individual medley, and Nilay Sharma, a butterfly and backstroke swimmer.

In addition, to Gokhale, the Raiders had a number of other freshmen this season, all of whom competed primarily in freestyle events, although Egan-Ragavus expects to employ them in more events next year. They are Surya Ananthu, Sanjit Boparai, Kevin Cruz, Robbie Neumann, Suhit Pradhan and Joshua Perlowitz.

The Raiders’ girls, with 15 swimmers in tow, turned in a 4-6 mark, finished fifth in the GMC and also defeated South Brunswick in the opening round of Central Public A competition.

In addition to Fosko, senior captain Dana Park finished fourth in the 100 breaststroke at the GMC meet. Park (breaststroke), Fosko (freestyle), junior Erin Welsh (butterfly) and freshman Kiera Welsh (backstroke) took second in the 200 medley relay. Fosko, Park, Welsh and sophomore Nicole Demato took fifth place in the 400 freestyle relay.

“The girls had a strong meet, and it was really a collective effort to get to fifth place,” the coach said.

Other members of team include senior captains Ekta Krishnmoorthy and Ashley Garcia, as well as fellow senior Micaela Szot — all freestyle swimmers. Sophomore Elizabeth Leung competes in the butterfly, and freshmen freestylers Rachel Carrion, Mariel Cortez and breaststroke swimmer Jessica Fritsche round out the roster.

Indoor track and field

In girls track, seven South Brunswick athletes picked up medals at the Group IV Championship Feb. 19.

The Lady Vikings finished fifth overall with 17.5 points but were just 2.5 points behind second-place Lenape Valley Regional High School. Ridgewood High School won the meet with 33 points. Southern Regional High School took third with 19.7 points, and John F. Kennedy High School of Paterson was fourth with 18 points.

Desirae Osley led the way for South Brunswick with a second-place finish in the 400-meter race. Osley also anchored the fifth-place 4×400 relay team, which also included Essence Baker, Brianna Araque and Chloe Hypolite.

Courteney Campbell placed fourth in the high jump, and Daniella Izzo and Maggie Kaplan were part of a four-way tie for fourth place in the pole vault.

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