Swimming: Atlantic City, Mainland girls seek South Jersey titles
The Mainland Regional and Atlantic City High School girls swimming teams will be in familiar territory today and Thursday at Gloucester County Institute of Technology.
The top-seeded Mustangs (11-1-1) will compete in their third straight sectional final 6:30 p.m. today against second-seeded Haddonfield (9-2) in a South Jersey Public B final.
Meanwhile, Atlantic City, the No. 2 seed in South Jersey Public A, will take on top-seeded Cherry Hill East at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.
The Vikings (12-0) won their first sectional title in program history in 2010 when seniors Elvia Alvarez, Colleen Callahan, Ayana Cox, Melissa Toy and Dominique Voso were freshmen.
Mainland has been to four South Jersey Public A finals but has never won. The Mustangs, ranked No. 4 in the Press Elite 11, are competing in their first South Jersey Public B final today.
Seniors Sydney Boswell and Michaela Tighe hope their experience can lead them to a championship.
“I think we both really want to win. Especially since this is our third time going and it would be nice to come out with a win our senior year,” Boswell, an 18-year old Linwood resident, said by phone Tuesday.
“We’ve never won a South Jersey title, so we’ve really been working hard, and we really want to win. We definitely have a lot of experience, so hopefully we all know how to win.
“We prepared and we’re definitely ready for this meet. It’s just a matter of whether or not we show up.”
Haddonfield, No. 7 in the Press Elite 11, has won the South Jersey Public B title seven out of the last eight years.
A Cape-Atlantic League team has never won it since the public divisions were divided into two sections in 2004.
The Mustangs are led by Boswell and Tighe, along with juniors Morgan Walls, Rylie Devine, Liz O’Sullivan and sophomore Samantha Bos-well, Sydney Boswell’s younger sister.
“We never swam Haddonfield before so unlike Ocean City and other teams around here, you don’t really know how fast they swim or what their events are, so it’s definitely going to be kind of a surprise,” Sydney Boswell added.
“We’ve been training really hard and I have total confidence in my team. I can’t wait for (the meet).”
Atlantic City, the top team in the Elite 11, also will face a defending champion in No. 2 Cherry Hill East.
The Vikings nipped CAL rival Vineland 87-83 by a stretch in the last event with first- and third-place finishes in the 400-meter freestyle relay.
In the other semifinal, the Cougars dropped six of 11 events to Clearview but touched second and third in 15 events to outscore the Pioneers 96-74.
Jamie Lynn Brookover and Natalie Simunek were the only double winners for Cherry Hill East on Monday.
The five seniors lead Atlantic City, but underclassmen Amber Glenn, Roman Barber, Katie Lund, Abbey Gragg and Rachel Kessler add depth.
“We’re just going to have to go in there and swim as fast as we can,” Toy said Monday. “Cherry Hill East is a really good team.”
“Four years ago (when we won the title) we were winning meets by 35, 40 and 50 points,” Atlantic City coach Bill Howarth said.
“But we’re 12-0, so we’re winning, we’re just not winning by as much.
“We still are a little lax on the depth but the girls that swam (against Vineland) did get a little better. But we still have some work to do if we are going to keep going to the next level.”
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If you go
South Jersey Public B girls swimming final
No. 1 seed Mainland Regional (11-1-1) vs. No. 2 seed Haddonfield (9-2)
6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Gloucester County Institute of Technology
Mainland, ranked fourth in the Press Elite 11, is aiming to become the first Cape-Atlantic League team to win the title. No. 7 Haddonfield has won seven of the last eight years and is the defending champion.
South Jersey Public A girls swimming final
No. 2 seed Atlantic City (12-0) vs. No. 1 seed Cherry Hill East (12-0)
6:30 p.m. Thursday at Gloucester County Institute of Technology
Cherry Hill East, second in the Elite 11, is the defending champion. No. 1 Atlantic City won its first title in 2010 and seniors Elvia Alvarez, Colleen Callahan, Ayana Cox, Melissa Toy and Dominique Voso hope to graduate with another one.