Central Swimmers Compete Through Tough Season
Large graduating class paves way for newcomers to prove themselves in 2016-17.
By Jason Koestenblatt (Patch Staff) – March 1, 2016 8:49 am ET
Submitted By WMC Swim Team
The WMC Swim team celebrated their 2015-16 season last week at their annual Team Awards Banquet. The Girls ended this year’s campaign with a 5-4 record, and the Boys at a 4-5 mark.
For this past season, Senior Captains Sierra Castaneda and Patrick Hughes were the high scorers for the Girls and Boys teams, and were honored as Team MVPs. Adding significant points on the Girl’s team were seniors Melissa Circelli, Allie Kowalewski, Julia Gagnon, Tiffany Lia Ah Kim, Nancy Zhang, Briellen Crowley, and Elyse Fournier. On the Boy’s side, senior contributors included Liam McLoughlin, Zach Baker, Cole Solsky, Nate Schommer, Pat Dizon, Ben VanValen and Anthony Gonzalez.
In his 4th year as Head Coach, Jim Beatrice offered, “We had a very deep and talented senior class, a lot of young men and women that I’ll miss. Terrific kids, all of which I’ve seen improve significantly over these past few years. We’re not just a team, we’re a family. I’m grateful to all of them.”
Coach Jim went on to add, “We swim a tough schedule every year, competing against perennial state ranked teams from Morristown, Chatham, and Delbarton, but we hold our own in almost every meet
- with the boys close enough to scare state ranked Morristown this season. And we had some signature wins, upsetting Madison earlier this year for the Boys, and the Girls edging out Parsippany Hills by 2 points.” At the Madison meet, the Boy’s side came down to the last race, with the WMC Boys needing to take 1st place in the 400 Free Relay. Hughes, Brandon Belen, Joe Hayes and anchor Tyler Sansone touched out a not-fast-enough Madison team for the win.
“This team has a solid future”, Assistant Coach Jen Skiba suggested, pointing out that 11 quality freshman joined the team’s ranks this past season. “The team was 50+ swimmers strong, and 44 swimmers scored points for us in one or more meet this past year. And, every swimmer on this team got better and faster.” Highlighted by Most Improved honors going to senior Nancy Zhang and sophomore Matt Zgombic.
Despite the big graduating class, the team appears to have a solid foundation. The future of the team will be handed down to other big contributors, including Juniors Rohan Bhargava, Dan DiLizia, Doug Krentz, Belen, Matt Fernandes, and Will Papa. Sophomores Sansone, Jake Baker, Ryan Lee, Matthew Li Ah Kim, and Zgombic, and Freshmen Mark Boiko, Hayes, Ryan Bridge, and Owen McLoughlin. The Girl’s will be in good hands too, with Juniors Julia Castaneda, Sarah Murray, Corrine Rybarski, Mara Stahlhut, Anna Moffitt, Robyn Sciancalepore, Sarah Moorehead, Hope Gough, Emily Muha and Maddie Kowalewski taking the reins, along with Sophomores Jill Wilson and Kayla Demarest. Future stars, Freshmen Sarah Bhargava, Alyssa Zacchia, Alexia Rizzotto, Josie Krentz, Carolyn Galloway, Sara Cavallone, and Erin Moffitt will also have a big impact on this team.
Graduating Senior, Sierra Castaneda, earned her 4th Varsity Swim letter this year. Sierra will leave her mark in the West Morris record books, with the best time in school history for the 100 Free. A new record was also set this year by sophomore stand-out Sansone, who broke a 6 year-old school record in the 200 Individual Medley.
The team’s new Captains for next year were announced at the Banquet as well — for the Girls, Julia Castaneda, Murray and Anna Moffitt, and for the boys, DiLizia and Krentz.
“We’re really proud of all these kids”, Coach Beatrice reflected at the awards banquet. WMC Athletic Director Jeff DiLollo was also on hand at the banquet, adding his congratulations to the teams’ successes.
Pictured: Photo 1; Central senior swimmers with Coach Beatrice and Coach Skiba.