Gabrielle Cabaron, who owns every school record for the Southern Regional High School girls swimming team, will bring that prowess to the Monmouth University women’s team next season.
Laura Patterson, another standout for the Rams, also will swim for Monmouth next year.
Cabaron and Patterson have committed to Monmouth, an NCAA Division I program in West Long Branch. Cabaron will receive a partial scholarship that is both athletic and academic. Patterson will have a partial academic scholarship and could earn an athletic scholarship in the future.
Southern went 11-2, the most wins in program history, and reached the South Jersey Public A semifinals. The Rams were 10th in The Press Elite 11’s final ranking.
Cabaron, a 17-year-old senior, also visited Providence College and Seton Hall.
“When I first set foot on the (Monmouth) campus, I pretty much knew it was the place for me,” said Cabaron, of Beach Haven Terrace on Long Beach Island. “The coach (Nicole Alsobrooks) was my old YMCA coach. The girls were nice, and I was really comfortable there. I’ll be excited to be there next year.”
Patterson, like Cabaron, has been an important scorer for the Rams for four years. Patterson, an 18-year-old senior, also visited The College of New Jersey and Villanova.
“I really liked the area at Monmouth, and it’s close to the beach,” said Patterson, of Barnegat Light on LBI. “I might major in nursing, and I really liked their nursing program. I loved the swim team. They were a big family with everyone there for each other.”
Monmouth, of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, went 1-9 in its second season after being restarted. The Hawks’ men’s and women’s swimming were discontinued following the 1982-83 season until fall 2015.
Southern Regional beat Vineland on the power-points tiebreaker in a S.J. Public A first-round meet Feb. 7 at the St. Francis Aquatic Center in Long Beach Township on LBI. The teams had tied 85-85, forcing the tiebreaker. Cabaron won the 100 breaststroke in the meet, which was Southern’s first-ever playoff win.
The Rams followed that with their first S.J. quarterfinal victory, beating Eastern Regional 90-80. Patterson won the 50-yard freestyle, and she and Cabaron were each on the winning 200 freestyle relay.
Southern lost to eventual South Jersey champion Cherry Hill East 114-56 in the semifinal.
Southern coach Bill Entrikin, this winter’s Press Coach of the Year in girls swimming, said Cabaron always put the team first.
“Gabrielle is the best swimmer who ever walked the halls at Southern,” Entrikin said. “She’s quiet about it, and some people don’t even know she’s a swimmer. She’s going to have a big impact right away at Monmouth.”
Entrikin said Patterson also will develop into a good college swimmer.
“Laura will really benefit from the college training, yardage and workouts,” Entrikin said. “I think she’ll be very fast over time.”