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OP Swim Wraps Up Their Season

Luke Bernstein, Staff Writer

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For the second time in as many years, the Oratory Prep Swim Team made it to the finals of the NJSIAA Non Public B State Tournament. Coming in as the #2 seed, OP had a relatively easy road to the final at The College of New Jersey with only one team in their way. A 107-63 victory over St. Rose Belmar on February 19th sent OP to the last dual meet of the season riding a great momentum wave. However, waiting for them was The Pingry School, a team who had won the state tournament the past 10 years and showed no signs of slowing down.  Pingry was ranked #2 in the state, but easily beat #1 Bridgewater Raritan on their way to a 9-0 season, making them the best program in New Jersey. They would be a formidable opponent for Oratory in the state finals, and their power was shown throughout the whole meet.

 

Pingry did not waste any time in this competition jumping out to a 12-2 lead after the first event, and they kept the pattern going throughout the whole meet. OP only managed to stop Pingry from dominating twice in the meet, with third place finishes for Ian Ellmer in the 100 Free and for Andrew Meisner in the 200 Free. Other than these two swims, Oratory did not have many positives throughout the meet which had a final score of 138-32. While it was not OP’s best showing, it is always great to swim in the state final, a meet Oratory hope to continue to swim in for many years to come.

 

For the first time ever, Oratory Prep was featured at the NJSIAA Individual Meet of Champions, the meet that capped off an excellent season and was a great opportunity for the four OP men at the meet. These four swimmers were Aidan Herrighty, Andrew Meisner, Patrick Heffernan, and Ian Ellmer, two of which have individual events. In the preliminary session, all four swam in the first event of the meet, the 200 Medley Relay, where they were just off their personal best with a 1:41.87 time, placing 27th out of 36. Meisner then swam his individual event, the 200 Freestyle where he placed 47th out of 59 with a 1:49.40. Patrick Hefferan was the other OP swimmers to have individual events which were the 100 Fly and 500 Free.  In the 100 Fly, Hefferan went a 54:13 to place 32nd out 44 swimmers and in the 500, he went a 5:00.00 to finish his OP individual career in 42nd.

In what seemed to be the final high school swim for three of these four OP swimmers, the three seniors performed incredibly in the 400 Freestyle Relay, giving OP an opportunity to swim in the Finals session on Sunday. OP went a 3.20.19, dropping almost two and a half session from their time at the Prep Championships to qualify for the C Final in 23rd place.  This great swim was capped off by a 48.88 split for Senior Ian Ellmer in the final leg of the relay to hold of Gloucester Catholic, Passaic Tech, and Seton Hall Prep who all finished from 2 to 8 tenths of a second behind him. This was a fantastic swim for Ellmer, beating his personal best by over a second in an event where that is rarely seen.

On Sunday, OP performed even better in the Finals session in the 400 Freestyle Relay where they had another personal best and did not come in last. Oratory placed 21st coming in second to last breaking the school record again with a time of 3:19.69. Ellmer broke 50 seconds again as did Patrick Heffernan, who helped contribute to this continued drop in time. This was a great way for these seniors and OP to cap off a fantastic swim season. Thank you Seniors!!!

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