ATLANTIC CITY - Vineland High School's Eddie Parks and Mark Novatorskiy gave the Fighting Clan boys swimming team a good start against Atlantic City on Wednesday, winning four of the first five individual races between them.
Many teammates helped to take care of the rest.
The Vikings won some races too, but Vineland sophomore Jack Choko and others helped the visitors stay ahead, and Vineland won the Cape-Atlantic League American Conference meet 101-69.
Parks won the 200-meter freestyle by a length and returned to take the 100 butterfly by a bit more than a length. Novatorskiy won the sprints, edging A.C. standout Thien Le by three inches in the 50 freestyle and winning the 100 freestyle by three lengths.
"We (Novatorskiy and Parks) give each other the chance to do the 200 (freestyle)," said Novotorskiy, a 16-year-old junior. "We can switch back and forth."
Vineland is 3-0 overall and in the conference. Atlantic City is 2-1 overall and 1-1 American.
"We've had a good start and the team is working really hard," Vineland coach Brian Newton said. "We're looking forward to the home stretch (of the season) to see what we can do. We had good swims today across the board."
Parks did the butterfly leg as Vineland's Johnny Malatesta, Choko, Parks and Novatorskiy won the 200 medley relay in 1:56.56. Parks came right back and beat A.C.'s Mike Toy by 1.47 seconds in the 200 freestyle.
Choko won the 100 breaststroke, and Novatorskiy, Choko, Jeremy Smith and Dom Merighi easily won the 200 freestyle relay.
"We swam pretty well," said Parks, a 17-year-old junior. "The team is coming together after we lost so many seniors (13)."
Parks will compete in a United States Swimming meet this weekend at Rutgers University, and will swim his best event, the 200 butterfly.
Vineland may have lost several swimmers to graduation, but is expected to have a good year with Press first-team All-Stars Novatorskiy, Parks and Johnny Malatesta back.
"We're talented on the inside (lanes), and our kids on the outside are working hard," Newton said. "That will win meets."
A.C.'s Mike Courter beat Malatesta by more than two lengths in the 200 individual medley. Toy won the 400 freestyle, and Le took the 100 backstroke by 1 lengths over Malatesta. Vikings Toy, Jorge Azcona, Courter and Lee by 0.92 seconds over Vineland.
"We swam hard against good competition and it pushed my swimmers to good times," Atlantic City coach Dave Demarest said. "I think we'll get better. A lot of our guys are new swimmers."
NOTE: Atlantic City will host the inaugural Holiday Invitational Swim Meet at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Vikings' pool. The boys and girls swimmers of A.C., Southern Regional, Buena Regional and Middle Township will compete.
Proceeds and donations will benefit spinal injury research and the Jon Manno Scholarship Fund. Manno, an Atlantic City swimmer, was injured in a non-swimming accident in September 2012 and paralyzed. Manno was on the pool deck Wedensday in a wheelchair, supporting the Atlantic City teams. For more information about the event or to send a donation, email email@example.com.
Contact Guy Gargan:
200 Medley Relay-V (Johnny Malatesta, Jack Choko, Eddie Parks, Mark Novatorskiy) 1:56.56; 200 Freestyle-Parks V 2:03.55; 200 IM-Mike Courter AC 2:24.09; 50 Freestyle-Novatorskiy V 25.20; 100 Butterfly-Parks V 1:00.97; 100 Freestyle-Novatorskiy V 56.82; 400 Freestyle-Mike Toy AC 4:25.29; 200 Freestyle Relay-V (Novatorskiy, Choko, Jeremy Smith, Merighi) 2:02.38; 100 Backstroke-Thien Le AC 1:01.84; 100 Breaststroke-Choko V 1:22.45; 400 Freestyle Relay-AC (Toy, Jorge Azcona, Courter, Le) 4:00.29.
Records-Vineland 3-0, A.C. 2-1.