Tenafly Swim Team’s Many Victories This Season

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Tenafly Swim Team’s Many Victories This Season

Ariana Bondi, Social Media Editor

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Every winter we see the re-emergence of our winter sports, one being swimming. The Tenafly swim team, led by head coach Matthew White and assistant coach Kim Darquea, is making up for the somewhat rocky season they had last year. They’re dominating this year. 

The boys team, led by captains Derek Kim (’20) and Hudson Tritter (’20), has been undefeated and is seeded first in our league. The girls team, led by captains Alexia Celli (’20) and me, Ariana Bondi (’20), started off with a few losses but is now on a winning streak of four, making the overall score 4-5.

At the start, the season could have gone in any direction. The boys had lost three contributing seniors but gained an array of underclassman, which includes Ha Young Choe, Aaron Baltaytis, and Jason Yi. The girls team also lost a contributing senior but was shown to be more motivated than ever with swimmers like Ella DeSalvo and Natalie Simotas. “The girls team has exceeded my expectations,” White said. The boys beat NVD, who had previously remained undefeated for three years. The boys also are scoring 500 more power points than in past seasons. The boys hope to win counties and leagues and bring home a state title. 

The strongest teams are on the girls’ side, which is why our girls have gotten off to a slow start. The girls also faced the hardest teams in the first five meets. On the boys’ side, they faced three teams in the Top 10 Bergen county rankings.  On the girls’ side, all five teams were in the top 10 rankings. These losses gave the girls time to reflect, improve the lineup, and get faster. The girls then pulled off four consecutive victories against Mahwah, Lakeland, Ramsey, and DePaul. 

Besides captains, seniors on the team include Danie Sung, Sam Lawrence, Angelina Tapia, and Leeav Dayan. “I don’t care if they are the fastest swimmers on the team. They have to be able to motivate swimmers and keep everyone engaged. They are an extension of my coaching staff.  This group of captains has been really great,” White said. Motivating the team throughout the season is a key component to being a great captain. The captains are not the only driving force; the addition of White as head coach has been a key factor. “He has set a new ton of commitment and perseverance that pushes us to swim the best we can,” Sung said. 

White has big plans for the team going forward. “My goals for the girls team is to earn a state tournament berth… We have a chance of getting third overall in the Big North League with a strong performance at the league championship meet,” White said. He also has big plans for the boys team. “I hope to win counties, the league, and a state title…I think the boys are in the driver’s seat and have the ability to get this accomplished,” White said.