A Bittersweet Goodbye for Ridgewood Swimmers

As their season reaches a bittersweet end, the Ridgewood swim team is proud to celebrate an overall seasonal record of 5-3 for girls and 4-5 for boys. The team made it to the second round of states and although the boys fought hard, they ended up losing by four points to Lenape Valley (83-87). The girls were seeded relatively high and received a bye for the first round. The next meet was scheduled against Randolph, which was coincidentally held at the same time as a club meet in which many strong competitors had to compete. With the loss of many valuable swimmers, the Ridgewood girls suffered a tough loss to Randolph (115-55), bringing an end to this year’s swim season.

Captains Matt Elliott, Erin Gioia, Eric Bragg, and Caroline Kotch helped their team to reach new heights throughout the season. The girls were triumphant in meets against Paramus (110-56), Hackensack (103, 67), Ramapo (129-41), Indian Hills (115-63), and Passaic Tech (120-50).  Losing to Northern Highlands (76-94) and Demarest (80-90), the team fought competitively with tight scores in both of these defeats. The boys beat Don Bosco Prep (89-80), Paramus (136-32), Hackensack (103-67), and Ramapo (108-62) throughout the course of their season.

On January 29, Ridgewood traveled to PCTI to participate in a joint meet against Fair Lawn, where they swiftly beat the opposing team. Not only were they able to celebrate this win, but the swimmers honored the nineteen seniors that will be graduating this year. Many of the seniors got a chance to swim and succeed in their events, including Santiago Rivero, who broke several personal records. Balloons and signs filled the cheery atmosphere, adding to the excitement of the night. Some signs read, “There’s no other swimmer like Alice Krimmer,” “All the other teams are jel because we got Mel,” and “Caroline Kotch is top notch.” Creating signs with rhyming slogans was just one of the many ways underclassmen were able to show their support for the upperclassman and their team. During close or suspenseful races, the team stood over the lane and created a tunnel with their hands, cheering on their teammates.

Now that Coach Schmidt officially has one year of coaching under her belt, it is safe to say that her presence in the Ridgewood Swim Program has been a success. While she is devastated to say goodbye a total of nineteen seniors, she remains optimistic about the future of Ridgewood’s outstanding team. Senior Priyanka Narayan remarked, “My senior year has been amazing, I loved everyone on the team. I am going to miss them!” As many swimmers head into their spring sports season or continue swimming on club teams, they will be taking the many competitive skills and everlasting memories they have forged with them.

Jessi Schlicht

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