Cherry Hill East extended its streak of South Jersey championships to five last year, beating Shawnee for the Group A title, and the Cougars have the personnel to make it six straight this season. Their top returners include junior David Rowe, who took fourth at the South Jersey Coaches Invitational and eighth at the Meet of Champions in the 100 butterfly; junior Ethan O’Neill, who took second at the state diving championships a year after winning the state title as a freshman; and senior Arizona Green, who won the 50 free at the S.J. Invitational.
Last season was also a rousing success for Moorestown, which went 16-2, defeated Haddonfield for the South Jersey Group B title and lost to Summit in the state final in a close meet. The Quakers were ranked in the top 10 in the state and No. 1 in South Jersey. Among the top returners is sophomore Alex Martin, who had an outstanding freshman campaign. He won the 200 IM and the 100 backstroke at the S.J. Invitational and placed third in the 100 back and fifth in the 200 IM at the Meet of Champions. Also back is junior Zach Fong, who won the 100 butterfly and the 100 breaststroke at the S.J. Invitational and placed sixth in the 200 IM and the 100 fly at the MOC.
Shawnee reached the South Jersey Group A final and placed second in Division A at the South Jersey Coaches Invitational. The Renegades took first at the Meet of Champions in the 200 medley relay, and three of the four members of that team return in senior Bryan Mattingly and juniors Jon Burkett and James Elmendorf.
Gloucester Catholic is coming off a 9-1-1 season but graduated standouts Nick Marks and Devin McCall. Their top returners include senior Edgar Chew, junior Ryan Gervasi and sophomore Max McCall. Haddonfield, which reached the South Jersey Group B final and was ranked 14th in the state, must also replace terrific swimmers in Quinn Laidig and Ryan Richard. Meet of Champions qualifiers Jake Riordan, a senior, and Mike Defeo, a junior, lead the list of returners.
Junior Steven Shek is among a strong group of returners for Lenape. Last year, Shek placed ninth in the state in the breaststroke and 13th in the state in the butterfly and set the school record in the fly, which had stood since 1977. Clearview brings back a pair of Gloucester County champions in Conrad Eisenhart and Joseph Lumpkin, while Washington Township is led by Brandon Siegel (butterfly), Len Lacovara (backstroke) and C.J. McAninley (freestyle).
Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Family’s High School Winter Sports Preview, November, 2013.
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