Barnegat Leader

Barnegat Swimmers Strive Again for State Tournament

Dec 15, 2017
Photo by: Jack Reynolds Barnegat junior Kyle Smith

The Barnegat High School boys swim team has a trend going, and it’s not one the Bengals intend on stopping anytime soon.

“Our boys have made the state team tournament each of the past three years, and it’s a tradition we are aiming to continue,” said head coach Emily Cherry, whose squad started off the new season with a victory over Manchester on Dec. 4. “We’re looking forward to another exciting and successful season.”

The Bengals certainly have no reason to believe they can’t have another successful season, given that a big portion of its core group from a year ago has returned to lead an otherwise fairly young crew.

“We graduated some key swimmers, but we’re excited by the depth, strength and passion of our team this season,” Cherry said. “Our core group of returning swimmers has been working hard to fine-tune and improve their strokes, while our new swimmers are picking up skills quickly.”

Leading the way for Barnegat this winter will be senior captains Maxwell Lares (freestyle/breaststroke) and Matthew Zielinski (freestyle/backstroke), while juniors Gareth Aguilar (freestyle/backstroke), Jordan Burton (butterfly/freestyle), Dylan Cappuccio (individual medley/breaststroke), Michael Koser (backstroke/freestyle), Colby Pearson (freestyle) and Kyle Smith (butterfly/backstroke), and sophomore Kaden Jason (freestyle) will provide a slew of seasoned swimmers at the top of the lineup.

Some of the key newcomers to the team include juniors Joseph Coleman and Raymond Ramos, and freshmen Ethan Sackett and Jayson Schleicher. The rest of the squad includes juniors James Davenport, Alex Kinder, Richard Andrew Ohr and Robert Perrini; sophomores Austin Cappuccio, Logan Germano, Tyler Grant, Joshua Hutton and Matthew Notaro; and freshmen Kyle Agudo, Christopher Longo and Gavin Wheeler.

As for the girls, Barnegat is expecting to be a tougher opponent in the Shore Conference Class B South division, and the Bengals seem to have more depth than in previous years.

“Our girls team is much larger than it was last year,” said head coach Rebecca Kane. “We have a strong group of returning swimmers, and picked up some new athletes who will make an immediate impact. With added depth, a dedicated group of girls, and the positive attitude they bring to practice and competition, we can’t wait to see what they accomplish this season.”

Despite the added depth and experienced swimmers back this winter, the Bengals fell short in their opener against Manchester, losing by only seven points. Still, that’s an encouraging sign for a team that struggled mightily with numbers a year ago and often didn’t have swimmers filling the third positions for certain strokes.

“Our returning swimmers have been working tremendously hard to become stronger in their events,” Kane said. “And we’re excited to see what our newcomers will bring to the team.”

Among those returning this season are senior captains Caitlin Lustenberger (butterfly/backstroke), Nicole Piskorzewski (freestyle) and Anna Sackett (freestyle/breaststroke), along with classmates Ashlee Caswell (freestyle) and Caroline Daley (individual medley), plus juniors Annabelle Grogan (freestyle) and Caroline Purdon (breaststroke). Some of the prominent newcomers include freshmen Sydney Dizon, Alexis Jackson, Paige Menegus and Ashley Sojak.

The rest of the squad includes senior Erin Flavin; juniors Madison Narozniak, Gabrielle Pires and Gabrielle Volerman; sophomores Jasmine Anderson, Catherine Hise and Alexis Wells; as well as freshmen Natalie Durning and Scarlett Roberts.

— David Biggy

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