Some high school swimming teams expect to be in a South Jersey championship meet nearly every year, but it’s something brand new for the Barnegat High School boys team.
Barnegat, the second seed in South Jersey Public C (smaller schools), swims against top-seeded Oakcrest at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday for the South Jersey title at Gloucester County Institute of Technology.
The meet is the final part of a boys swimming tripleheader Wednesday at GCIT. Egg Harbor Township, the third-ranked team in The Press Elite 11, meets second-ranked Cherry Hill East at 3:30 p.m. for the South Jersey Public A (larger schools) championship. Cherry Hill East is the No. 1 seed and EHT is second.
Mainland Regional, the top-ranked team in Elite 11 and the two-time defending state champion, meets fifth-ranked Moorestown at 5 p.m. in the South Jersey Public B championship meet. Mainland is top-seeded and Moorestown is the No. 2 seed.
Barnegat beat third-seeded Cedar Creek 106.5-63.5 on Monday in a boys Public C semifinal. Oakcrest topped fourth-seeded Schalick 109-61 in its semifinal.
“The team is really excited,” said Emily Cherry, the Barnegat co-coach along with Rebecca Kane.
“I thought we swam really well on Monday. Last week a little less than than half the team was out sick, so for them to come out and swim that way on Monday was very exciting.”
Dylan Cappuccio won the 200-yard individual medley and the 100 breaststroke in the meet.
“We’re really pumped up and confident in our ability,” said Cappuccio, a junior who will be 17 on Thursday. “We have a very good chance and a good mentality going into (Wednesday). We know Oakcrest is a competitive team and our power points are about the same as theirs.”
Cappuccio was on two winning relays with teammate Kyle Smith.
“We’re so excited (to be in the South Jersey final),” said Smith, a 16-year-old junior. “It’s so new to us. It should be very close and exciting, and we’re no stranger to close meets.”
Barnegat (10-1-1) also features Michael Kosar, Matthew Zielinski, Kaden Jason, Gareth Aguilar and Colby Pearson.
Oakcrest (10-2), the three-time Cape-Atlantic League National Conference champion, has a good lineup which includes Dylan Horsey, Adam Groff, Carlos Lescano, Garrett LaRoche, Eric Weeks, Andrew Thompson and Jacob Dorsey.
Haddonfield beat Oakcrest 111-59 in last year’s S.J. Public C championship meet. But a realignment put Haddonfield in the Central Jersey C this year.
Egg Harbor Township (8-1) is led by senior Cristian Bell and good scorers including Joey Tepper, Zach Evans, Vincent Nguyen, Curtis Li, Winchester Ployratana and Brandon Bell (Cristian’s younger brother). The Eagles beat Moorestown 104-64 during the season, and topped Cherokee 117-53 Monday in an S.J. Public A semifinal meet. Cherry Hill East (10-0), the defending state Public A champion, has a deep lineup led by Jack Watson, Anthony Moon, Jackson Brookover and Mike Treglia.
Mainland (12-0), led by sophomore Destin Lasco, now holds seven of the 11 National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association meters records for public high schools throughout the nation. Five of those records are from this season. The Mustangs, three-time CAL American Conference champions, are also led by Joe Rogers, Glenn Lasco (Destin’s older brother), Erik Truong, Nick DiNofrio, Brett Clauhs and Liam Garbutt. Moorestown (12-1-1) has Thomas Schurer, Josh Fong and Reid Greer.