Steinert swimmers (from left) Dylan McGettigan, Gavin Shin, Alan Sun, Kyle Calamia and Felipe Bargo were all smiles today after the five of them accounted for six first-place finishes in the Spartans Central Jersey B win over Colts Neck at Hamilton West. Sun and Shin were both four-time winners (Photo by Rich Fisher).
By Rich Fisher
Feb. 6: The Steinert boys swim team entered this year’s state tournament with a little less success than it enjoyed last year during the regular season and Mercer County Tournament.
It also entered without one of its big guns, as Christian Devine was home with the flu-like about a zillion other Americans.
And yet that did not prevent the 5th-seeded Spartans from winning a first-round NJSIAA Group B Central meet for the fourth straight year, as Steinert took a 104-66 win over Colts Neck today at Hamilton West.
“For the past three or four years we’ve been winning the first one, and I felt like this year we would be a lot better,” said four-time winner Felipe Bargo. “Even though we didn’t win as many times in dual meets and at MCTs, our team still got pretty good this year compared to last year, so I believed we were still gonna win.”
The meet got switched crosstown at the last minute due to a temperature problem with the Spartans pool. The trip over gave coach Jen Smith the chance to tell her team how it would make up for Devine’s loss.
“You have to re-arrange things and listen to all the ‘Oh my God I gotta swim this now!’ on the bus ride here,” Smith said with a laugh. “But once you get rid of all the cobwebs it works out. We have enough kids to cover for each other.”
Some of the changes included putting Chris Dunfee in the breaststroke while moving Peter Garlisi and Joey Berg to different spots. All three scored points.
“We just kind of re-arranged things, and luckily it worked,” Smith said.
One of the reasons it worked is that Steinert still had the junior dynamo duo of Sun and Felipe Bargo, who were part of all six Spartan first-place finishes. Both swam the 200 medley and 200 free relays along with Dylan McGettigan. Kyle Calamia rounded out the 200 MR while Gavin Shin was in the 200 free relay.
Sun, Calamia and Scott Ackerson went 1-2-3 in the 200 IM and Sun and Jordan Hill took 1-2 in the 100 back. Bargo and Spencer Oliver were 1-2 in the 200 IM, while Bargo and Ackerson were 1-2 in the 100 back.
“We didn’t know much about them,” Sun said. “All we had to go on was the recorded times on the internet and even then it didn’t give us much information. We sort of went in blind, put out the best lineup we could; and hoped for the best.”
They will now hope to get Devine back, as the Spartans (7-6) have advanced to a Friday quarterfinal meet at West Windsor-Plainsboro South. The Pirates, swimming slightly short-handed, took an 86-84 thriller in the first meeting on Dec. 19, and had to win the 400 free relay to do it.
“It was a really close meet last time,” Bargo said. “I believe a lot of our people got better so I believe we have a chance.”
As does Smith.
“Absolutely,” she said. “We’ve been tapering since MCTs, everybody’s at the top of their game still. We’ll go in to their pool, we’ll go in and see what we do. We’ll see who comes out on top. It will be a good meet.”
The following is a list of Spartans scoring points today
200 medley relay: 1st, Felipe Bargo, Alan Sun, Kyle Calamia, Dylan McGettigan, 2:04.35; 3rd, Jordan Hill, Matt Hall, Andrew Norton, Joey Berg, 2:14.67
200 free: 1st, Felipe Bargo, 2:11.75, 2nd, Spencer Oliver 2:14.13
200 IM: 1st, Alan Sun, 2:36.29, 2, Kyle Calamia 2:42.09, 3, Scott Ackerson, 2:45.17
50 free: 2nd, Dylan McGettigan, 27.64, 3rd, Gavin Shin, 27.43
100 fly: 2nd, Spencer Oliver, 1:09.03, 3rd, Kyle Calamia 1:11.51, 5th, Andrew Norton 1:14.03
100 free: 2nd, Gavin Shin, 1:00.87, 3rd, Dylan McGettigan, 1:0.81, 5th, Peter Garlisi, 1:08.85
400 free: 1st, Felipe Bargo, 4:46.46, 2nd, Scott Ackerson, 5:06.62, 4th, Chris Dunfee, 5:20.17
200 free relay: 1st, Gavin Shin, Alan Sun, Dylan McGettigan, Felipe Bargo) 1:52.12; 2nd, Peter Garlisi, Spencer Oliver, Joey Berg, Chris Dunfee, 2:05.47
100 back: 1st, Alan Sun, 1:13.26, 2nd, Jordan Hill, 1:18.12, 5th, Ryan Merrick, 1:33.97
100 breast: 3rd, Matt Hall, 1:24.71, 4th, Christian Limato, 1:26.43, 5th Chris Dunfee, 1:31.69
400 free relay: 2nd, Gavin Shin, Spencer Oliver, Chris Dunfee, Kyle Calamia, 4:34.47; 3rd, Peter Garlisi, Scott Ackerson, Matt Marrazzo, Andrew Norton, 4:43.40