Swimmers Poised For State Meet

Posted: February 28, 1997

Attention swimmers: Sleep deprivation is finally coming to an end.

The high school portion of the swimming season will conclude Sunday with the NJSIAA state championships at Rutgers University.

All those mornings of awakening well before sunrise for practice for their U.S. Swimming teams, all the afternoons spent waiting for practice to begin because of staggered times caused by the area's lack of pools, the countless miles in the pool . . . that soon will be no more.

Sure, some USS swimmers will begin their taper for Junior Nationals after Monday, so there still is some work to do, but many of the swimmers will wind down - at least a little - after this weekend.

The swim preliminaries will start at 11 a.m. tomorrow. The 24th annual girls' championships will commence at noon Sunday, and the boys' 75th event will start at 4 p.m.

The diving portion of the competition will begin Tuesday, as the girls square off at the College of New Jersey at 5:30 p.m. Two days later, the boys will take to the boards.

PRIME TIME EVENT

State swim championships

* Day, Time: Sunday, girls at noon and boys at 4 p.m.

* Place: Rutgers University.

* Boys' swimmers to watch: Cherry Hill West's Christian Cantwell, with his time of 52.39 seconds, is the No. 1 seed in the 100 butterfly. . . . Delran's Joe Chiaccio was slowed by an ankle injury most of the season, but he appears to be rounding to form and is the No. 4 seed in the 200 individual medley. . . . Joel Keller, who helped lead Shawnee to the state Division A title Sunday with a pair of individual triumphs, is the seventh seed in the 100 breaststroke and No. 6 in the 500 freestyle. . . . Clearview senior Jeff Leupold placed third in the 100 breaststroke last season and is the third seed again. Leupold finished third in the 200 individual medley a year ago and is seeded fifth. . . . Jason Snyder's time of 1 minute, 58.76 seconds in the 200 individual medley is the third-best in the state. . . . George Wilkinson, a Haddonfield junior, is seeded fourth in both the 200 and 500 freestyle.

* Girls' swimmers to watch: Holy Cross junior Anne Marie Casperite is the top seed in the 100 freestyle (52.82) and fourth in the 50 freestyle, in which she placed second last year. . . . Haddonfield's Kiersten Creran, a sophomore, is the only swimmer to better 1:07 in the 100 breaststroke and is the one to catch. Also for Haddonfield, Katherine Conroy's time of 2:06.55 in the 200 individual medley is more than two seconds faster than any other seed time, and she finished second last year. Conroy also is the fifth seed in the 100 backstroke. . . . Shannon Lynch of Lenape has been unstoppable in South Jersey this season but now faces West Morris' Tashy Bohm in the 100 butterfly. Bohm has the top seed by one-hundredth of a second; Lynch is seeded second, and she is the fifth seed in the 50 freestyle. . . . Cherry Hill West junior Jennelle Ritchie won't have to look far for her competition. In the preliminaries, Ritchie's time of 58.38 in the 100 backstroke puts her right next to Bohm in the fastest heat. . . . Jennifer Sebastian's time of 1:53.94 gives her the top seed by almost a full second in the 200 freestyle. The Gloucester Catholic sophomore will have teammate Cathleen Blaston next to her in the preliminaries for a push.

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