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Pennington's boys' swim team captures NJISAA Prep B title

Pennington's boys' swim team scored an impressive victory in the NJISAA Prep swim championships held on Tuesday, February 5.

The Red Raiders captured the Prep B title in convincing fashion as they scored 320.50 points to second place finisher, Morristown Beard School's, 208 points. Pennington's point total also put them in third place overall behind Prep A schools Pingry and Lawrenceville.

The title is the second consecutive for Pennington's boys' swimming program and tenth overall.

Ben Eckerson '21, Koray Ercan '19, Jake McBride '19 and David Curtiss '21 finished first in Prep B in the meet's first event, the 200 medley relay. They also finished a very close second to the Prep A overall champion, Pingry.

Mark Usiskin '21 and Jack Fancher '20 picked up points for Pennington in the 200 free. Blake Hart '20 and Kostiantyn Rogankov '20 also swam in the 200 free event for Pennington.

Just as Usiskin and Fancher did, Ercan and Liam Rogers '21 scored important points in a meet where every point matters. Ercan and Rogers swam well in the 200 IM. Also swimming in the 200 IM were Deep Patel '20 and Merrick Liu '22.

At this point in the meet, all eyes were glued to the pool for the 50 free. Pennington's David Curtiss took down yet another pool record as he swam a 20.04 to finish first overall and break a Lawrenceville School pool record held by the late Andrew Coan (Coan's record was 20.19). Coan was in Lawrenceville's Class of 1975.

Curtiss was named Swimmer of the Meet, his second such honor as he picked up the same honor at the recent Mercer County Boys' Swim Championships.

Oliver Gassmann '21 swam very well in the 50 free and picked up big points for his Red Raiders and his time of 22.48 was good for a fourth-place finish overall. Martin Lederman '19 and Chris Long '20 also swam well for Pennington in the 50 free.

All-State status is hard to nail down but Jake McBride added yet another feat to his already storied Pennington swimming career as he took first overall in the 100 yard fly by swimming a time of 51.38. McBride's first place finish was a close one as he touched-out Lawrenceville's swimmer to grab all 24 points for his Red Raiders.

Gassmann and Lederman would also pick up points for Pennington in the 100 fly. Ihnat Severin '20 also participated in the 100 fly.

Curtiss grabbed an important second place finish overall (first in Prep B) in the 100 free and Chris Long grabbed key points in this race as well. Michael Krajci '21 and Aidan Sichel '19 also swam in the 100 free for Pennington.

McBride stepped up big yet again for Pennington, taking third in the 500 free. Fancher and Usiskin also scored points for Pennington in this grueling event. Aiden Medina swam for the Red Raiders as well.

A new School record was set in the 200 free relay as the team grabbed second overall behind Prep A champ, Pingry. McBride, Eckerson, Gassmann and Curtiss swam a time of 1:28.26.

Ethan Rizzutto '20 and Blake Hart '20 scored points for the Red Raiders in the 100 backstroke. Aiden Gross '20 and Peyton Miller '22 also swam for Pennington in the 100 backstroke.

Rogers and Ercan swam well and scored for Pennington in the 100 breaststroke. Gavin Hart and Max Gibbard '22 swam in the 100 breaststroke as well.

The meet ended with Pennington 400 free relay team taking first in Prep B as Lederman, Ercan, Long and Gassmann swam a 3:32:21.

The Red Raiders picked up their tenth Prep B state championship to go along with their recent second place finish in the county meet.