Though she was already one of the state’s best high school swimmers, Mainland Regional High School’s Katie McClintock had a breakout sophomore season this winter.
McClintock earned nationwide notice by breaking the National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association girls public school record in the 200-meter individual medley.
She capped her season by winning the 200-yard IM at the state individual swimming championships in 2:00.88 at GCIT. She was the only area girl to win a state title. In the preliminary heats the previous day, she set a meet record of 2:00.30.
McClintock is The Press Girls Swimmer of the Year for the 2018-19 season.
“It feels really good to be the Swimmer of the Year because there are a lot of great swimmers,” said McClintock, a 16-year-old Linwood resident. “I’ve put a lot of hard work and time into the sport.”
She just missed winning another state title, finishing second in the 100 backstroke in 55.58 seconds, 0.22 behind to Cherry Hill East’s Annie Behm.
McClintock’s 200 IM meet record at the MOC topped the 2:00.72 set by Atlantic City’s Colleen Callahan in 2013. Callahan was The Press Girls Swimmer of the Year for four consecutive seasons through 2012-13.
“Colleen was my teammate on the Egg Harbor Township Seahawks club team when I began there,” McClintock said. “She was older, so I wasn’t in her group, but she was always an inspiration.”
In the 200 IM final, McClintock was in fifth place after the opening butterfly leg but led everyone by more than a second following the backstroke. Her lead increased even more in the breaststroke, and she won by 3.65 seconds.
The Mainland sophomore set the NISCA 200-meter IM record Jan. 31, winning in 2:15.94 at the Frank P. Forde Cape-Atlantic League Individual Championships at Atlantic City High School.
The previous national mark was 2:16.06 by Kaitlin Pawlowicz of Oakton High School in Vienna, Virginia, on Feb. 19, 2011. McClintock also won the 100 breaststroke in the CAL Meet and helped the Mustangs to a win the 200 freestyle relay.
“It was really good to get the record,” McClintock said. “I felt good, but I just got up to race. ... I like the backstroke and the breaststroke equally, and I’m working to improve in the fly.”
At the South Jersey Coaches Meet on Jan. 26 at GCIT, she won the 200-yard IM in a meet mark of 2:04.70. She also won the 100 backstroke.
McClintock was also a first-team Press All-Star as a freshman, finishing second in the 200 IM and sixth in the 100 breaststroke at the 2018 MOC.
Mainland went 7-3 this season, losing only to CAL American Conference champion Egg Harbor Township (88.5-81.5) and twice to Ocean City (91-79 in the conference and 92-78 in a South Jersey Public B semifinal).
“She certainly earned her recognition,” Mainland coach Mike Schiavo said. “She works incredibly hard in and out of the pool. She’s a student of the sport, and she’s so aware of everything that’s going on. It could the focus of a set in practice, to a potential meet lineup, to a new teammate swimming a lifetime best.
“She’s a selfless team-first swimmer. She’ll swim any event in any meet. I’m happy for her accomplishments this year, and I’m looking forward to what she can accomplish the next two years.”
McClintock’s achievements add to Mainland’s recent success in sports.
“Mainland is a great school with a lot of school pride,” McClintock said. “The sports teams are doing so well, like the girls basketball team and boys swimming, obviously. I’m really happy to be part of the school.”
Team of the Year
Egg Harbor Township (7-2) was the top area team, winning its second straight CAL American Conference championship and finishing No. 4 in The Press Elite 11.
The Eagles beat Ocean City 90-80 and topped Mainland 88.5-81.5. The Eagles lost to top-ranked Cherry Hill East 101-69 in the South Jersey Public A final.
EHT is The Press Team of the Year for the 2018-19 season.
“We’re very fortunate to have a lot of talent, even though we don’t have big numbers,” coach Mark Jamieson said. “We had some injuries and sickness this year, so our freshmen and new swimmers got a chance to swim and really helped our depth. It’s great to win the CAL back to back. It’s not easy. It’s a really strong league that gets tougher all the time, so it’s nice to come out on top.”
Coach of the Year
Middle Township’s Dede Bosacco is The Press Coach of the Year for the 2018-19 season after leading the Panthers to their first CAL National title and their first South Jersey Public C final.
Middle (6-3) went 5-0 to win the conference and lost to eventual state champion Haddonfield 124.5-45.5 in the S.J. final.
“It’s a real surprise and a great honor,” Bosacco said. “There are so many great coaches. My success was based on the success of the team. They worked so hard. They set personal goals and team goals, and they did everything they could to accomplish them.”