New Wave Swimmers Make Their Mark at NJ Special Olympics Summer Games

Jun 21, 2017

The New Wave swim team was back in action during the Special Olympics Summer Games on June 10-11, and each of the team’s eight swimmers placed among the top eight in multiple events inside the Packer Hall Aquatic Center on the campus of The College of New Jersey.

Among the big winners during this year’s aquatic events were Waretown residents Christina Sexton and Gabriel Shehady, who took the top spot in an individual event as well as one of the top-two positions as part of a relay. Shehady managed three big efforts, swiping first place in the 100-meter freestyle with a time of 1:28.47, grabbing second in the 50-meter butterfly in 53.18 seconds, and was part of the New Wave “A” 4x25-meter freestyle relay, which captured first in 1:49.01 and included teammates Danielle Pecoraro of Little Egg Harbor, Thomas Rears of Brant Beach and Danielle Sexton.

Christina Sexton placed first in the 25-meter breaststroke with a time of 55.19 seconds and was part of the New Wave “B” relay, which took second in 3:02.83 and also included teammates Alyssa Bohner and Matthew Ominski of Manahawkin, and Katherine Hirshkind of Little Egg Harbor. Sexton also placed third in the 25-meter freestyle (1:13.00). Christina’s twin sister, Danielle, finished fourth in her division of the 25-meter freestyle with a time of 25.90 seconds and took eighth in the 25-meter backstroke in 33.50 seconds.

Hirshkind registered a pair of solid individual efforts, taking second in the 25 freestyle in 32.15 seconds and grabbing third in the 25 backstroke in 38.89 seconds, while Rears finished second in his division’s 25-meter butterfly with a time of 34.47 seconds and snagging third in the 50-meter freestyle in 56.94 seconds. Ominski also raced to second place in his division’s 25 freestyle, recording a time of 40.25 seconds.

Pecoraro took third place in a pair of individual events – the 25-meter butterfly in 39.46 seconds and the 25 freestyle in 32.80 seconds – while Bohner placed second in her division of the 25-meter breaststroke with a time of 1:04.52 and finished fifth in the 25 freestyle in 43.78 seconds.

Coached by Tom and Pat Rears and Paul Blankemeyer, the New Wave swim team practices from October through June at the St. Francis Aquatic Center in Brant Beach.

— David Biggy

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