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Chatham Girls Win Fifth Straight State Sectional Championship, 113-57, Over Summit

By Ed Barmakian

Saturday, February 15, 2014 • 12:20am

PERTH AMBOY, NJ - Seniors Jess Gorham, Regan Kology and Shana McLaughlin each won two individual events to highlight Chatham's 113-57 victory over Summit for the North II, Public B state sectional championship on Friday at the Raritan Bay YMCA.

It was Chatham's fifth straight sectional championship. Summit was making its first trip to the final in 12 years.

Kology has been a major contributor in the four sectional championships for Chatham and she says it gets better every year.

"This doesn't get old," Kology said. "We like to swim as one team and one unit. I feel like Chatham is having fun. As a senior, I love the girls. There is a lot of pressure to live up to, but It's fun now. I'm a leader more so than I've ever been. It gets more fun every year."

Regan  Kology swims to first place in 200 freestyle in video below

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Kology won the 200 freestyle in 1:56.08 and the 500 free in 5:05.75 and also was member of the winning 200 and 400 freestyle relay teams.

"She's amazing. A fantastic swimmer and a great leader on the team," Chatham coach Frank DiGiacomo said. "She pushes the others to do well by setting an example and with encouragement. She's just an all-around a great swimmer and kid."

McLaughlin touched first in the 200 individual medley in 2:12.23 and also won the 100 freestyle in 54.23. She also swam on the winning 200 and 400 freestyle relay teams.

"She likes competition,"  DiGiacomo said. "Most of the kids on the team are what I call racers. They do their best when they're in competition. They like to really perform when things are tough and people are pushing them to do better. So they do their best. That's Shana."

Jess Gorham won the 50 free in 25.35 and the 100 backstroke in 1:01.07. She also was part of the winning 200 and 400 freestyle teams.

Jess Gorham and her younger sister, freshman Emily, were 1-2 in the 500 freestyle. Emily's time was 25.97.

"They're two great swimmers," DiGiacomo said. "It must be something their parents are feeding them, they're absolutely fantastic. They're a real team."

Kara Miller-Radest won the 100 butterfly for Chatham in 1:00.54 and Alicia Iizuka placed first in the 100 breaststroke in 1:08.13.

"Frank (DiGiacomo) and I go way back to the old Iron Hills days, so I'm happy for him, he's a great coach," Summit girls coach John Ross said.  "We knew coming in it was going to be a long sludge. It was the first time we were here in 12 years. It was exciting to be here and my freshmen got a lot of experience. Hopefully, down the road, we'll get another shot."

DiGiacomo already was analyzing the performance by his Chatham team soon after it was over. He sees room for improvement for the state semifinals on Tuesday.

"We have some things to fix," DiGiacomo said. "You look at every meet from a coaching standpoint and we can do better. I know there is another gear in there. We're going to be working on fixing some little things this week. We need to improve on our turns. Most of all, just keeping that team unity hot. It's a long season, it's a tough season."

 

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