Hazlet swimming team seeks 1st season victory

first_imgBy Warren Rappleyea TThe Hazlet Swim & Tennis Club swim team will be looking for its first win of the season when it meets neighboring Holmdel today. Hazlet, under third-year coach Jean Marie Gillen, opened the campaign with a tie against Howell’s Candlewood Saturday. Following the Holmdel meet, the team will be back in action this Saturday against the YMCA of Western Monmouth County. As always, Gillen has a large team, 170 competitors to be exact, including a handful of 5- and 6-year-olds. And everyone competes. “We just want them to do the best they can, learn and to have fun competing,” the Raritan High School graduate explained. “One of our main goals is to teach good sportsmanship so that we’ll be good to other teams and they’ll be good to us in return.” All of Hazlet’s swimmers compete in four events: breaststroke, butterfly, back stroke and freestyle. For Wednesday meets, the girls compete in breaststroke and butterfly, while the boys compete in freestyle and backstroke. They switch events for Saturday meets. Having such a large number of participants does, however, create unique circumstances. The team practices five days a week, but there are three practices per day with team members split by ability and age. According to Gillen, who began coaching following her senior year at Raritan, coaching such a large number of swimmers takes some getting used to. “It was kind of overwhelming at first,” said Gillen, now entering her junior year at St. Peter’s College in Jersey City. “Now that I’ve been the coach for a while, I know the kids and I see a lot of brothers and sisters coming along. They’re very respectful and they want to learn.” Competitions are broken up by age group: 8 and under; 9-10; 11-12; 13-14; and 15-18. Following are Hazlet’s top scorers by age group: 8 and under: Carly Bissett, Gina Del Russo, Brian Lendini, Lindsay Zuffanti, Kyle Bergslein, Brendan Costello, Michael Langan and T.J. Miara. 9-10: Casey Crist, Kara Kelsey, Helen McDonald, Kim Renna, Timothy Bergslein, Steven Dillulio, Patrick Langan and Joe Panullo. 11-12: Paige Bissett, Kelly Crist, Stephanie Del Russo, Monique Zuffanti, Chriss Coccaro, Peter Sadecki and Sean Walsh.last_img

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