DEPTFORD TOWNSHIP — The Egg Harbor Township High School boys swimming team displayed its competitive nature Wednesday.
But despite some great performances, the Eagles’ season-long dominance ended against top-seeded Cherry Hill East.
The Cougars powered to a 106-64 victory over second-seeded EHT and captured their second straight South Jersey Public A title at Gloucester County Institute of Technology.
The meet was a rematch of last year’s sectional final, which the undefeated Cougars won 110-60
Cherry Hill East, ranked first in The Press Elite 11, improved to 13-0. The Eagles (9-1), ranked second, suffered their first loss.
“We have an unfortunate road to the championship,” EHT coach Mark Jamieson said. “We have to go through one of the best teams in the state. We are really proud of the way we swam. We proved we can race them in every event.”
The Eagles captured the Cape-Atlantic League American Conference title for the first time since 2009.
EHT had some prominent regular-season wins, including victories over Bishop Eustace, St. Augustine Prep and Mainland Regional.
The Mustangs, ranked third in The Elite 11, defeated Ocean City 98-72 in the first meet Wednesday to win their fifth straight S.J. Group B title.
EHT defeated Cherokee in the semifinals Monday.
It was a successful winter.
“Every event was close (Wednesday), and that’s all we can ask for,” Jamieson said. The kids swam great. We are really proud to be CAL champs. … As a coach, that’s all I can ask for.”
Joey Tepper won two individual races and swam a leg in the winning 200-yard medley relay for the Eagles.
Tepper, Brandon Bell, AJ Mallari and Winchester Ployratana won the relay in 1 minute, 36.46 seconds.
Tepper also won the 200 individual medley (1:55.56) and the 500 freestyle 4:38.98.
Mallari won the 100 breaststroke (59.83).
“It’s been really nice (this season), especially since it’s our senior year,” said Tepper, 17, of EHT. “I’ve been doing it with the people I love.”
Tepper said during his freshman season, he didn’t really enjoy high school swimming and wanted it to end.
But the senior standout regretted that mindset as he became older.
“I’m really sad that it’s over,” Tepper said. “I’m really sad because of how much fun it was.”
Tepper, who last week recovered from the flu, hasn’t made a decision about college. But he is planning to swim at that level.
“I’m really happy with my races today,” Tepper said. “I’m glad I can deliver for my team. I love my team so much.”
EHT had second- and third-place finishes in four races.
Ployratana placed second in the 100 freestyle (48:45). He also swam a leg in the second-place 200 freestyle relay (1:30.40).
Ethan Do, Andrew Dang, Connor Ammann and Kevin Lin finished second in the 400 freestyle relay (3:22.34).
Bell was second in the 100 backstroke (52:09). He was also third in the 100 butterfly (52:31).
EHT graduates 11 seniors.
“The future is bright,” Jamison said. “We graduate a lot, but we also get in a lot. We hope to be back right here next year. That’s our goal every year, to get back to this meet. Hopefully one of these years we will come out with the victory.”
S.J. Group A final
(1) Cherry Hill East 106,
(2) Egg Harbor Twp. 64
At Gloucester Tech, yards
200 Medley Relay—EHT (Brandon Bell, AJ Mallari, Winchester Ployratana, Joey Tepper) 1:36.46
200 Freestyle—Alex Volin CHE 1:44.49
200 IM—Tepper EHT 1:55.56
50 Freestyle—Mike Treglia CHE 21.65
100 Butterfly—Jackson Brookover CHE 51.62
100 Freestyle—Treglia CHE 47.96
500 Freestyle—Tepper EHT 4:38.98
200 Freestyle Relay—CHE (Bobby Irwin, Nick Pezzella, Ryan Cortes, Treglia) 1:28.41
100 Backstroke—Brookover CHE 51.90
100 Breaststroke—Mallari EHT 59.83
400 Freestyle Relay—CHE (Volin, Cortes, Irwin, Brookover 3:20.28)
Records—CHE 13-0; EHT 9-1.