MAYS LANDING — Cedar Creek High School has both boys and girls swimming teams, but the two combined into one Thursday to face coed Buena Regional on opening day at the George L. Hess Educational Complex.(tncms-asset)88ba47e0-b826-11e6-8d00-00163ec2aa77(/tncms-asset)

Cedar Creek took a 24-point lead midway through the meet and ended up winning 93-77. The host Pirates, who have no seniors, got individual double wins from Michael Sooy, Jimmy Rhodes and Lauren Kelly, a returning first-team Press All-Star in girls swimming.

The Pirates won the first three races, but Buena put excitement into the meet with four wins, including the final two relays.

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“Having a coed meet in the first meet is a blessing because it gives me the opportunity to swim my returnees, and the novices sit back and watch,” said Steve Ferguson, the Cedar Creek boys and girls swimming coach.(tncms-asset)b421f3aa-b42b-11e6-ab85-00163ec2aa77(/tncms-asset)

(tncms-asset)4606fbda-b436-11e6-86b7-00163ec2aa77(/tncms-asset)“There are less spots available. It gives the young swimmers the opportunity to get ready for the intensity of a meet.”(tncms-asset)f014a12a-b43d-11e6-a33c-00163ec2aa77(/tncms-asset)

The Cape-Atlantic League National Conference has four coed teams, Buena, Wildwood Catholic, Lower Cape May Regional and Pleasantville. Results of a coed meet go on the boys teams’ records.

Kelly won the 100-meter freestyle in 1 minute, 1.03 seconds and returned to take the 100 backstroke in 1:09.22. She also swam the backstroke leg of the Pirates’ winning 200 medley relay team. The other relay members were Rhodes, Jacob Nass and Zach Lenzi.

“My times were pretty good,” said Kelly, a 16-year-old junior from Egg Harbor City. “The team swam really well for the first meet, and everybody swam fast.”

“It’s good to swim coed meets because it’s different competition. Usually I just swim against girls. Our girls team should do well too. We have some young girls who will be strong.”(tncms-asset)f1f33326-b505-11e6-94b9-00163ec2aa77(/tncms-asset)

(tncms-asset)a7c93f10-b4fc-11e6-8f2d-00163ec2aa77(/tncms-asset)(tncms-asset)24178898-b501-11e6-9a3a-00163ec2aa77(/tncms-asset)Rhodes, a sophomore, won the 200 individual medley by more than three body lengths and returned two events later to capture the 100 butterfly by two lengths.

“I thought we did pretty well,” said Rhodes, a 15-year-old Mays Landing resident. “I was close to a personal record in the 100 fly. Buena put up a good fight, but we did what we had to do and brought it back.”

Sooy won the 200 freestyle by more than two lengths. In the day’s most exciting race, he took an early lead in the 400 freestyle, but Buena freshman Mitchell Butler closed it in the final 50 meters. Sooy held on to out-touch Butler by 0.12 seconds in 5:22.53.

The two teams met on opening day last winter and Cedar Creek won it 115-55.

Buena’s first win was by Nick Romeo in the 50 freestyle. Romeo also was on the two winning freestyle relay teams, along with Ray Presutti, Trivigno Scotti and Sean Lavender. The Chiefs’ other win was by Tyler Gonzalez in the 100 breaststroke.

“We’ve had a few injuries that left us light in a couple events, but all our swimmers stepped up,” Buena coach Chris Kane said. “The meet was a lot closer than last year, and I’m very proud of all of them.”

At Cedar Creek (George L. Hess Educational Complex), meters

200 Medley Relay—CC (Lauren Kelly, Jimmy Rhodes, Jacob Nass, Zach Lenzi) 2d:04.41; 200 Freestyle—Michael Sooy CC 2:25.37; 200 IM—Rhodes CC 2:27.18; 50 Freestyle—Nick Romeo B 27.30; 100 Butterfly—Rhodes CC 1:08.85; 100 Freestyle—Kelly CC 1:01.03; 400 Freestyle—Sooy CC 5:22.53; 200 Freestyle Relay—B (Ray Presutti, Sean Lavender, Trivigno Scotti, Romeo) 1:53.65; 100 Backstroke—Kelly CC 1:09.22; 100 Breaststroke—Tyler Gonzalez B 1:25.45; 400 Freestyle Relay—B (Romeo, Scotti, Lavender, Presutti).

Records—Buena 0-1; C.C. 1-0.




I’ve been at The Press since January of 1983. I cover all sports in general, but mostly lifeguard racing, and high school field hockey, football, swimming, basketball, crew, baseball and softball.

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