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PRINCETON: Bluefish dominate at PASDA swim meet

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MIke Uchrin loves the mix of the Community Park Bluefish swim team.

The collection of club swimmers, summer swimmers and newcomers to swimming come together for two months in the summer at Princeton’s Community Park Pool to enjoy the sport and improve along the way.

Everything came together for the Bluefish as the completed an undefeated regular season and then added a Princeton Area Swimming and Diving Association championship to wrap up the season.

CP won the Division 1 championship with 3,934.5 points. Lawrenceville Swimming Association was second with 2,030. Nassau Swim Club finished fourth in Division 2, while Cherry Valley Country Club was first in Division 3. Princeton Family YMCA was third in Division 3. The meet was held at John Witherspoon School in Princeton.

“We had a great year,” Uchrin said. “The kids had fun. We showed our strength at PASDA champs. We went undefeated in the regular season and put together a great performance at PASDA champs. One of the fun parts of summer swimming is coming together and getting together with friends from other teams or friends who are not regulars in the sport. It just comes together and everyone enjoys it.”

The Bluefish used their depth to earn the Division 1 title. They had two swimmers earn Most Valuable Swimmer honors in their age group - Zoe Bitterman in 10-and-under girls and David Brophy in 10-and-under boys. But with 230 swimmers, it was the depth that made the biggest impact.

“That is one of our greatest strengths,” Uchrin said. “The size of the team allows for a great number of relays and they performed well. Given the culture of team, some swimmer are summer only and some are year-round. Collectively they come together and are part of the reason we had so much success.

The Bluefish had a number of swimmers finish in the top three in their age group in Division 1.

In the girls 6-and-under division, Mia Bitterman finished third in 6-and-under 25 free and third in 25 backstroke.

In the girls 8-and-under division, Phoebe Roth finished first in the 25 free, Georgia Glanton was second in the 25 free and third in 25 breaststroke, Charlotte Flanagan was second in the 25 butterfly, and XinLe Cordle was third in the 25 butterfly.

In the girls 10-and-under division, Zoe Bitterman finished first in the 25 free and 25 butterfly, Julia Godfrey was second in the 25 butterfly and third in the 25 free, Annie Flanagan was second in the 25 backstroke and second in the 100 individual medley, and Ellie Kroll was second in the 25 breaststroke.

In the girls 12-and-under division, Piper Dubow won the 50 breaststroke and was third in the 100 IM, Kyleigh Tangen finished second in the 50 free and 50 butterfly, Audrey Wilhelm was third in the 50 breaststroke, and Sabine Ristad was second in the 100 IM and third in the 50 butterfly.

In the girls 14-and-under division, Emily Smith was second in the 50 backstroke and third in the 50 free, while Alexandra Cherry was third in the 50 butterfly.

In the girls 18-and-under division, Serena Sharpless was first in the 50 free and second in the 50 butterfly, Cameron Davis was second in the 50 free and third in the 100 IM, and Ella Caddeau was second in the 50 backstroke and third in the 50 butterfly.

In the boys 8-and-under division, Matthew Krol was first in the 25 breaststroke and 25 butterfly, while Brian Krol was first in the 25 backstroke and second in the 25 free.

In he boys 10-and-under division, David Brophy won the 25 butterfly and the 100 IM, while Shawn Elwood was third in the 25 backstroke.

In the boys 12-and-under division, Coll Wight won the 50 backstroke and the 200 IM, Martin Brophy was third in the 50 free and in the 50 butterfly, Kent Kyle was second in the 200 IM and third in the 50 breaststroke, and Matthew Baglio was second in the 50 butterfly.

In the boys 14-and-under division, Andrew Lenkowsky won the 50 free and the 200 IM, Julian Valazquez was second in the 50 butterfly and third in the 50 free, and Lucas Gold was second in the 50 backstroke.

In the boys 18-and-under division, Dylan Torrance won the 50 backstroke and was second in the 200 IM, Philip Lacava was second in the 50 free, Calvin Ristad was second in the 50 breaststroke and third in the 50 free, Karl Lackner was third in the 50 backstroke, and Owen Tennant was third in the 50 breaststroke.

“The success is a byproduct of us being able to come together and have some fun and improve,” Uchrin said. “Every year get a great amount of kids that come back and we have great support from the community. We have swimmers who want to come out and have fun and do their best and have some success.”

With a strong coaching staff and interest that just increases every year, Uchrin looks at swimming for the Bluefish as a perfect summer activity. 

“It is part of the community,” he said. “We want to maintain that close-knit feeling but also have to account for the demand. We have nine assistant coaches and they are the best around. A lot of our coaches are long-time Bluefish and they help maintain that close-knit feel.

“I want Bluefish in Princeton to be a part of the summer like going to the beach and to a barbecue. In the simmer I want it to be Bluefish time. That is what it is all about and that is why I love what we have put together. It doesn’t matter your background. Just swim hard and have fun.”

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