The Student News Site of Tenafly High School

The Echo

The Student News Site of Tenafly High School

The Echo

The Student News Site of Tenafly High School

The Echo

Tenafly’s Rising Sophomore Swimmers Make a Splash

On January 30, the Hackensack High School stands were filled with the roaring noise of shouting students and parents. At this time, three Tenafly High School sophomore swimmers began to prepare for the swim meet and were ready to dominate the annual Bergen County’s Patriot League. These three underclassmen remain at the top of their game: Kyle Lee, Sienna Plutzer, and Matt Collado. 

 

Kyle Lee:

Kyle Lee swimming the 200 freestyle. (David Shin)

A competitive sophomore on the Tenafly High School swim team, Kyle Lee (’26) always strives to become the best. According to NJ.com, he has been named a swimmer under the radar for his outstanding record of winning most of the races, including the 200 freestyle and the 500 freestyle. The Bergen County Patriot League meet proved that he deserved his praise when he captured the first place title for a time of 1:49.54 in his 200 freestyle. “My favorite event to swim is the 200 free because it’s my best event and also a mix of sprint and long distance, which I like,” Lee said. Growing up, his brother Jaden Lee, inspired him to start swimming when he was younger, but during his start in high school swimming, he was inspired by past Tenafly swim captains like Aaron Baltaytis (’23) and Hayoung Cho (’23). “I also look up to Caeleb Dressel and David Popovici as they are the fastest swimmers in the world and holders of Olympic Gold medals,” Lee said. Looking forward to the state tournament, he expects the team to win the Sectional title for the fourth consecutive time and go onto the finals for the State division for the boys. He feels he has much more to improve on his swimming and hopes to get faster. Continuing his swimming life by joining the Tenafly High School swim team was something he never regretted.

 

Sienna Plutzer: 

Sienna Plutzer swimming breaststroke. (David Shin)

Starting from a young age, Sienna Plutzer (’26) was born to race in the waters and continues to swim in her sophomore year. “I originally was just doing recreational swim as well as summer swim, which I did from 4-6 years old,” Plutzer said. “But then I fell in love with the sport and started competitively swimming.” Without a doubt, Plutzer performed her best in the Bergen County Patriot’s League meet when she swam a 5:22.06 in her 500 freestyle and helped claim second place for the Tenafly girls that night. Her main inspiration for swimming is United States Olympian, Regan Smith. “I wear her customized Speedo socket goggles which have a message on the rim of the goggles which says ‘bet on you,’” Plutzer said. “Every time I put the goggles on, I see that message, which is definitely impacting.” Although high school swim doesn’t include her favorite event, the 400 Individual Medley (including all strokes) she enjoys swimming it for her club team in Scarlet Aquatics. This season has been the best for the girls yet with seven wins and one tie meaning they have succeeded in having an undefeated regular season. In the state tournament, she hopes the swim team will swim fast and have fun. “All the girls really just have to step it up and swim their fastest!” Plutzer said. 

 

Matt Collado:

Matt Collado getting ready to swim (David Shin)

Unlike the swimmers mentioned above, Matthew Collado started swimming during the pandemic in order to stay active. “I stayed in the basement playing too many video games,” Collado said. “My mom wanted a way for me to get out of the house.” He is talented in sprint events like the 50 freestyle, 100 butterfly, and 200 butterfly. According to NJ.com,  at the Bergen County Patriot meet, he swam a calm 55.16 in the 100 butterfly to snag the 1st place title in the event. His motivation to swim fast came from his former swim captain, Aaron Baltaytis (’23), who also inspired Kyle Lee. However, Baltaytis isn’t the only one who inspired him to continue swimming. “One of my biggest inspirations is my dad,” Collado said. “Since he ran track and had similar results.” He has many goals for his senior year at Tenafly High School which includes gaining a podium spot at the prestigious Meet of Champions in the 100 butterfly and the 200 medley relay. Over the years, he hopes to hone his skills in his upcoming junior season, and with his personal best times being made, it wouldn’t be surprising if he reaches his goals soon. 

 

As this new generation of swimmers becomes faster, it is safe to say that the Tenafly swim team is in good hands. Although many believed that after last year’s seniors left Tenafly the team would no longer have a standing chance, this year’s team proved otherwise with an undefeated season for both girls and boys in the previous dual meets. With determination and dedication, the Tenafly swim team continues to defy expectations, highlighting the enduring legacy of excellence in the pool.

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About the Contributor
David Shin, Senior Staff Writer
David Shin ('25) is a Senior Staff Writer for The Echo. He is looking forward to covering stories of any genre that might pique the interest of students at Tenafly High School.