NEWTON, NJ - The Eleventh Annual Northwest Jersey Swim Invitational took place on Saturday, July 14. The location of the event was at the Newton Pool in the Town of Newton Twelve swim teams from Sussex County and Warren County participated. Participating teams are part of the Wallkill Valley Swim Conference. Swimmers ranged in ages from four years old to 18- years-old. A total of 360 athletes competed.
The Kittatinny Barracudas swim team took a bite out of the competition. The Barracudas took top honors with a 930.50 point first place overall team finish. The boys contributed 448.5 points while the girls contributed 482 points. This is the third year in a row Kittatinny has won championships in overall team performance. They were propelled by twelve year old returning champions, Emily Peter and Hunter Klingener.
In the boys division, Klingener finished in first place in the 100 IM, 100 freestyle and 50 freestyle and 50 breaststroke with times of 1:03.59, 55.19, 25.88 and 33.17. Peter posted times of 1:07.95, 58.88, 29.96 and 27.38, in the 100 freestyle, the 100-yard individual medley, the 50 butterfly and the 50 freestyle in the 11-12 girls division.
Other Kittatinny Barracudas team members that won medals are as follows: sixteen-year-old Monica Abdul-Chani (15-18 50 and 100 freestyles), Eleven year old Samantha Russell (11-12 50 backstroke and breaststroke) and Eight year old Abbey Gardner (7-8 25 backstroke, 8 and under 25 fly).
The Hackettstown Hurricanes of Warren County finished second in overall team performance with a total score of 723 points. The boys contributed 330.5 points while the girls contributed 392.5 points. Eight-year-old Victoria Sophia Rivas finished first in the (7-8 25 freestyle, 8 and under 25 breaststroke and freestyle).
The Newton Sharks Swim Team finished in third place with a total of 567 points. The Newton boys contributed 373 points while the Newton girls contributed 194 points. Ten-year-old Samantha Lensak earned a first place finish in the (9-10 25 backstroke) girls division. Six year old Brynn McCurry earned a first place finish in the (6 and under 25 freestyle) girls division. Six year old Andrew Carlson earned a first place finish (6 and under 25 freestyle) in the boys division.
The event attracted a large turn out of spectators. Northwest Jersey Swim Invitational chairperson Margaret Witt stated "Our team [Newton Sharks] practices five days a week during the summer. Swimming keeps the kids in shape and keeps them active. As long as they are improving themselves that is a good thing".
The remaining teams finished respectively in total points:
Sussex County YMCA with 543 points.
Lake Tranquility Thunderbolts with 474 points.
Sussex/Wantage with 328.50 points.
Lake Stockholm Dolphins with 288 points.
Lake Tamarack with 288 points.
Forest Lakes with 167 points.
Cliffwood Lake with 63 points.
Culver Lake with 55 points.
Ogdensburg with 25 points.