DEPTFORD TOWNSHIP — The Middle Township High School girls swimming team competed in its first sectional final in program history Wednesday night.
This season, the Panthers also captured their first Cape-Atlantic League National Conference title in school swim history.
It was a season with many accomplishments. And nothing could change that.
So when top-seeded Haddonfield earned a 124.5-45.5 victory over the second-seeded Panthers to seize the South Jersey Public C title at Gloucester County Institute of Technology, the team did not have a reason to walk away in disappointment.
The Panthers ended their dual-meet season 6-3.
“We are just totally excited and honored to be here,” Middle coach Dede Bosacco said. “Our first South Jersey final along with our first CAL National championship, the girls worked really hard, and we had a lot of first-year swimmers score points for us tonight and throughout the season.”
The Panthers’ Sophia Bosacco (the coach’s daughter) won the 200-yard freestyle in 2 minutes, 6.34 seconds and placed second in the 100 backstroke (1:06.37).
Sophia Bosacco, a 16-year-old junior from Cape May Court House, also swam a leg in the second-place 400 freestyle relay (4:15.55).
“We really work together as a team,” she said. “A lot of the new girls who just started swimming, they work really, really hard and helped build the foundation to get to where we are. It’s not just about our first places, it’s about all of us and how hard we work as a team.”
The Panthers’ Sophia Braun was second in the 100 free (1:01.39). Sophia Braun, Samantha Braun, Catherine Bostard and Ishika Patel were second in 200 free relay (1:53.36).
“I was very happy with our finishes,” Dede Bosacco said. “We had some really great races, and they really did step up and swim to the best of their ability, which is all I can ask.”
Maddie Deane, Sophia Bosacco, Sophia Braun and Ishika Patel finished second in the 400 free relay.
Deane, a senior, also was fourth in the 500 free (6:44.30).
“It feels great just to be here,” said Deane, 18, of Cape May Court House. “We had our sights set on swimming in this meet, and we did really well. I had a great season, and it was a great way to end my career.”
Sophia Bosacco added she cannot wait to get back in the pool next season after a historic winter for the Panthers.
“It’s just so awesome, and it just makes next year so exciting,” Sophia Bosacco said. “We have so much talent and so much potential. It makes it so much fun as a team to get in and swim as fast as we can.”
EHT loses in final
Egg Harbor Township lost 101-69 to top-seeded Cherry Hill East in the S.J. Public A final. The second-seeded Eagles, who finished the season 6-2, won three events in the championship meet.
“It’s an honor and a privilege to be able to be at this meet,” EHT coach Mark Jamieson said. “Cherry Hill East is one of the strongest teams in the state. I couldn’t ask more of our girls. That was our best powerpoint of the year.”
The Eagles’ Grace Curry, Ava McDonough, Alexandria Cotter and Olivia Evans won the 200 medley relay (1:49.39). Cotter won the 100 butterfly (58.75), and McDonough won the 100 breaststroke (1:07.21).
EHT won the CAL American title this season. The Eagles, who lost to the Cougars in the sectional final last winter, placed second in the South Jersey Coaches Invitational.
“I’m really excited with how we swam,” Jamieson said. “This type of meet brought out the opportunity to swim fast, put on the suits and have fun. It is our goal to get to the sectional finals each year, so it was a great result to get back here to end the season.”
Ocean City falls
Ocean City girls swimming lost 120.5-49.5 to top-seeded Moorestown in the Public B finals. The third-seeded Red Raiders finished their dual-meet season 11-3.
Ocean City, which finished second in both the CAL American and the South Jersey Coaches Invitational, also lost to the Quakers in the sectional championship last season.
“We said we wanted to get back to the South Jersey final,” Ocean City coach Ian Keyser said. “And we accomplished that. We said anything we did today would be a cherry on top of that.”
Ocean City beat Mainland Regional in the semifinals Tuesday.
“Moorestown is a phenomenal team, a top-five team in the state, and they really swam like that today,” Keyser said. “There’s not a lot you can do when they are swimming that fast, but I could not be happier with how we swam today.”
Alex Antonov placed second in the 200 IM (2:09.38), and Claudia Scherbin finished second in the 50 freestyle (24.98).
Claudia Scherbin, Olivia Scherbin, Andrea Teofanova and Antonov swam to a second-place finish in the 200 free relay (1:40.81) and 400 free relay (3:43.98).
Teofanova is the only senior on a young Ocean City team.
“We have the core of our team back next season,” Keyser said. “Like every year, it’ll be our goal to get back here next season.”
South Jersey Public A finals
No. 1 Cherry Hill East 101,
No. 2 Egg Harbor Twp. 69
200 medley relay—EHT (Grace Curry, Ava McDonough, Alexandria Cotter, Olivia Evans) 1:49.39; 200 free—Annie Behm CHE 1:56.38; 200 IM—Karolyn Merch CHE 2:08.02; 50 free—Brianna DiSanti CHE 24.59; 100 butterfly—Cotter EHT 58.75; 100 free—Ashley Ong CHE 54.82; 500 free—Kylie Preihs CHE 5:14.32; 200 free relay—CHE (Ong, Angela Merch, Amanda Marsh, DiSanti) 1:41.28; 100 backstroke—Behm CHE 56.40; 100 breaststroke—McDonough EHT 1:07.21; 400 free relay—CHE (Karolyn Merch, Behm, Ong, Preihs) 3:41.83.
South Jersey Public B finals
No. 1 Moorestown 120.5,
No. 3 Ocean City 49.5
200 medley relay— M (Allie Waggoner, Teagan Powell, Catie Shawaryn, Annabel Gorman) 1:55.44; 200 free— Holly Robinson M 1:55.77; 200 IM— Emily Wisniewski M 2:07.63; 50 free— Shawaryn M 24.65; 100 butterfly— Robinson M 57.23; 100 free— Wisniewski M 52.43; 500 free — Waggoner M 5:04.67; 200 free relay— M (Gorman, Katerina Paulathas, Robinson, Wisniewski) 1:40.51; 100 backstroke— Allie Waggoner M 50.97; 100 breaststroke— Gordon M 1:07.99; 400 free relay— M (Shawaryn, Waggoner, Wisniewski, Robinson) 3:37.79.
South Jersey Public C finals
No. 1 Haddonfield 124.5,
No. 2 Middle Township 45.5
200 medley relay—H (Sophia Rollo, Ava Berzanski, Maria Jellig, Regan McDonnell) 1:55.68; 200 free—Sophia Bosacco MT 2:06.34; 200 IM—Rollo H 2:14.94; 50 free—Chloe Lin H 26.95; 100 butterfly—Carly Griffin H 1:01.72; 100 free—Berzanski H 57.45; 500 free—Kristina Curley H 5:35.54
200 free relay—H (McDonnell, Lin, Erin Angstadt, Amelia Coty) 1:48.60; 100 backstroke—Jellig H 1:04.20; 100 breaststroke—Emma Keegan H 1:15.25; 400 free relay—H (Coty, McDonnell, Lin, Curley).