KSwim: Outlook on the Upcoming Season


KHS swimmers at their second meet against Randolph. Top row from the left: Jimmy Dougherty, Kendal Simmons, and Abby Bosch. Bottom row from the left: Julianna Picinic, Sage Sedlacek, and Rachel Delaney.

The Kinnelon High School swim team is eager to get their season going this year after a solid win for both the girls and boys against Morris Hills on Dec. 6.

On Dec. 15, the girls also had an easy 108 to 62 point win over Randolph, despite missing three club swimmers. The girls are looking forward to their season with big goals for the future.

Coach Brian Boardman said, “Our team goal each year is to do well at counties, qualify for the state tournament, and hopefully win the state championship.”

Last year, the girls team lost by only 18 points to Mountain Lakes in the state sectional finals.

Senior and captain Miranda Byrne said, “The main goal for this season [is that] everyone wants to beat Mountain Lakes for sectional finals [and] I think we have a shot at that because they lost a lot of seniors.”

Moreover, Byrne said for Kinnelon, “All the freshmen are really pulling their weight this year. We have so many of them [and] they’re doing great already.”

Senior and captain Jackie Thompson noted that the swim team already has a lot of experience, with many strong senior swimmers. “I just think everyone meshes really well and works together, so I think we’re going to have a pretty solid season this year.”

The boys team had a tough loss in their second meet to Randolph, but still has some important goals to attain this season as well.

Sophomore Michael Jacobus said, “We want to go positive; just to have a winning record this year, that’s the main goal.”

Senior and captain Jimmy Dougherty agreed saying, “Last year we went 5 and 5, so we’re hoping to get a couple more wins under our belt for this season.”

The boys also want to beat their long-time rivals, the swimmers from Pequannock. Dougherty said, “They always put of some good competition… We had them in my underclassmen years but as a junior they took [the win] so hopefully we can take it back.”

Dougherty also said, “For the state tournament last year, we got two rounds in, [so] we’re obviously hoping to improve on that, and I think we have the team that can do it. If we were to make it to semis, I think we would be really happy.”

Coach Boardman said, “For the boys we lack in numbers; we only have 13 boys on the team, but we definitely have a ton of talent which showed in our first meet. I think we won every event but [it] was still close which is just lack of depth… there’s no reason they shouldn’t be successful.”

While they are looking forward to future goals, both the girls and boys teams faced many changes right at the beginning of the season. In particular, Michelle Cromwell, a teacher at the middle school, came on to be the assistant coach. Ten years ago, Cromwell was the head coach of the KHS swim team but left when she had a baby. Now, Cromwell said she is “excited to be back.” Cromwell she will be happy “as long as we keep improving and everyone is working hard and having fun at the end of the day.”

Sophomore, and newcomer to the team, Nicki Gioia, said, “I’ve known Mrs. Cromwell since middle school since she was the track coach and she is nice. On the first day [she] really helped me with my stroke and I’ve pretty much improved from there.”

The upperclassmen also have a plethora of new swimmers added to the team this year. The seniors are trying to involve the underclassmen through a variety of traditions and activities.

Senior and captain Erin O’Mara said, “The team is really close this year. We do pasta parties, holiday parties, [and] we go out to eat together [at Moe’s]. We’re doing locker posters again this year… and [we] reintroduced the idea of doing ribbons every meet so everyone will have a little collection of ribbons by the end of the season.”

Likewise, senior Sofia Harty said, “We also want Moes to be a more frequent trip we make after swim meets.”

On the boy’s side, Dougherty said, “They guys team bonds a lot… Before every meet the captains give a speech… to hype everyone up and get them to try and perform their best.”

Jacobus also said, “Compared to [other sports], this team feels like more of a family maybe because it’s smaller [and] more personal.”

And the freshmen agree. Shealyn Smith said, “I feel very welcomed even though I’ve never swam before… I feel like I already belong.”