By Warren Rappleyea
Old Bridge High School’s girls’ and boys’ swim teams are preparing for the Greater Middlesex Conference (GMC) Championships Jan. 27 at the Raritan Bay Area YMCA in Perth Amboy.
Coach Bob Weiss believes his girls are poised for a top-five finish and expects the boys’ side to also approach that mark. The Old Bridge girls posted a 4-3-1 mark during the regular season, downing Sayreville War Memorial High School, Piscataway Township High School, North Brunswick Township High School and Mother Seton Regional High School, while forging a tie with Bishop George Ahr High School.
“We were a disappointed with that tie,” Weiss said. “We really felt we should have won. I’m sure Bishop Ahr is probably saying the same thing.”
Versatile junior Jordan Policari and freshmen Gianna Policari and Sofia Ezzaki are the top point scorers for the Lady Knights. Jordan Policari can swim any event, and Weiss uses her wherever needed. At the GMC event, she will compete in the backstroke and sprint freestyle events. Her sister, Gianna, is versatile as well and will handle the 500-yard freestyle and individual medley (IM). Ezzaki will compete in freestyle sprints.
The trio will also handle the relay races, where they will be joined by either senior Emily Cohen or junior Holly McCann depending on the event.
“We don’t have a lot of stars, but we do have the depth, and a lot of our girls were able to score points,” Weiss said. “I think that depth will help us do well in the GMC championships.”
Other top competitors for the Lady Knights include seniors Chelsea Charitun (backstroke and freestyle), Caitlin Ellis-Foster (distance freestyle, IM, breaststroke) and Annalisa Porcelli (butterfly); juniors Sierra Stevenson (all events) and Miranda Yeats (distance freestyle); and sophomore Madyson Gray (backstroke and distance freestyle).
Old Bridge’s boys’ team, meanwhile, ended up at 3-5, earning wins against Sayreville, Bishop Ahr and Piscataway. Weiss is expecting strong performances from sophomore Corby Eldrenkamp and senior Dominik Karasiewicz at the GMC Championships.
Eldrenkamp, who earned a fourth-place medal in the 500 freestyle at the 2016 GMC event, was the Knights’ top competitor this season. He will race in the IM and 200 and 500 freestyle at the GMC. The versatile Karasiewicz competed in almost every event this winter and will likely enter several races at the GMC meet.
Seniors Dimitri Nobbee (freestyle and breaststroke) and Viraj Patel (freestyle) and junior Chase Weber (IM and breaststroke) should also pick up points for Old Bridge.
In addition, the future looks bright for the boys’ team. Weiss welcomed six promising freshmen to this year’s 16-member roster, including Karim Ellithy, who has been impressive in freestyle sprint events.