The crowd at Neptune Aquatics Center won't soon forget Amanda Nunan, Noel Styer and the rest of the Ocean City High School girls swimming team.
Ocean City took the lead from the beginning and topped previously unbeaten Princeton High School 94-76 Wednesday in a state Public B semifinal meet at the Neptune Township pool. O.C., top-ranked in The Press Elite 11, upped its season record to 14-0.
Freshman Nunan set a pool record in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4 minutes, 59.56 seconds.
Styer, a senior, set a pool mark in the 50 freestyle, finishing in 23.77 seconds. That means they're the fastest times for those events in any high school girls meet ever held at that pool. Both marks are also school records.
The Red Raiders earned the program's first trip to the state final, which will be against three-time defending Public B champion Chatham at 2 p.m. Sunday at The College of New Jersey in Ewing Township.
Chatham, of Morris County, beat Mountain Lakes 125-45 in the other semifinal.
"They have a really cool scoreboard there, and they put it on there right afterward that they were pool records," Ocean City coach Kate Merz said. "They told us that (Nunan and Styer) will get All-American consideration and major recognition for it. It's pretty awesome, and they were both very excited."
Ocean City's Rachel Chain, Aleva Parker, Aly Chain and Styer began the meet with a victory in the 200 medley relay. The Red Raiders added to that in race two as Nunan won the 200 freestyle, and teammates Gabby Breazeale and Erin Myers finished third and fourth, respectively.
"The girls came in relaxed," Merz said. "They knew what they had to do, and they came in and swam fast. That's all you could ask for. We racked up enough points at the beginning to think we would win it."
Nunan, a 15-year-old Ocean City resident, added, "I think we were really confident going into the meet. After the first relay we got pumped to keep the lead. We're really excited (to be in the state final). I hope we can win it."
Styer and Rachel Chain (25.1) finished 1-2 in the 50 freestyle.
"I wasn't expecting it (setting a pool), and then I looked up and saw it. We came in determined and wanted to make more history. We're more excited than nervous."
Styer also set a school record in the 100 freestyle, finishing second in 52.83 to Princeton's Brianna Romaine. Myers was third in the race.
Ocean City freshman Parker won the 100 breaststroke by a touch in a personal-best 1:12.25. The Red Raiders 200 freestyle relay team of Breazeale, Amber Glenn, Nunan and Styer won in 1:41.35.
Glenn, who was second to Nunan in the 500, was second by a touch to Princeton's Madeline Deardorff in the 200 individual medley. Aly Chain was third. Deardorff also won the 100 butterfly, but Aly Chain took second and Breazeale was third. Romaine also won the 100 backstroke for the Little Tigers, but Rachel Chain was second and O.C.'s Julie Cusack placed third. Rachel Chain, Myers, Glenn and Nunan were second in the 400 freestyle relay.
Contact Guy Gargan:
At Neptune Aquatics Center, yards
200 Medley Relay-OC (Rachel Chain, Aleva Parker, Aly Chain, Noel Styer) 1:51.05; 200 Freestyle-Amanda Nunan OC 1:51.06; 200 IM-Madeline Deardorff P 2:11.99; 50 Freestyle-Noel Styer OC 23.77; 100 Butterfly-Deardorff P 58.63; 100 Freestyle-Brianna Romaine P 52.26; 500 Freestyle-Nunan OC 4:59.56; 200 Freestyle Relay-OC (Gabby Breazeale, Amber Glenn, Nunan, Styer) 1:41.35; 100 Backstroke-Romaine P 59.28; 100 Breaststroke-Parker OC 1:12.25; 400 Freestyle Relay-P (Deardorff, Jamie Liu, Romaine, Melinda Tang) 3:38.54.
Records-Princeton 12-1, Ocean City 14-0.