Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXV, No. 31
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
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SIMON SAYS: Nassau Swim Club star Simon L’Heveder displays his backstroke form at a recent meet. Last week, L’Heveder, 8, starred at the Princeton-Area Swimming and Diving Association (PASDA) championship meet as the Lemmings placed first among Division 2 teams. L’Heveder won the 8-and-under 25-meter butterfly and the 100 individual medley and helped Nassau place first in the 100 freestyle and 100 medley relays.

Featuring Solid Talent Across Age Groups, Nassau Lemmings Enjoy Banner Summer

Bill Alden

For the Nassau Swim Club Lemmings, utilizing an all hands on deck approach resulted in a special summer.

The Lemmings went undefeated in dual meet competition in Division 2 of the Princeton-Area Swimming and Diving Association (PASDA) and then capped their season by placing first in the team standings last week at the league’s championship meet.

“We had a lot of depth,” said Nassau head coach Beth Nagle. “That is a big factor in summer swimming with people on vacations. We were able to fill in lineups in every meet. We had a lot of close meets and the kids really got involved on the deck.”

While Nassau didn’t have a full lineup for the PASDA championship meet, the kids who were on hand did well.

“Not all of our swimmers were able to compete there but just about every swimmer who went scored some points for us,” said Nagle, whose team will be promoted to Division 1 of PASDA next summer due to its success this season. “The year-round swimmers have the advantage so that gives everyone confidence to be able to contribute.”

The Lemmings got plenty of points this summer from their core of younger girl swimmers which featured Veronique DiBlasio (8 years old), Isabelle Monaghan (9), Rachel Adlai-Gail (10), Brigid DiBlasio (12), Becca Adlai-Gail (12) and the Campisi twins, Natalie and Emma (12).

“Becca and Rachel Adlai-Gail swim year round and it shows,” said Nagle.

“Rachel is the youngest of three so that helps too. Natalie and Emma were pleading with me to not break up their freestyle relay. They went undefeated all season and won at PASDA.”

A critical factor in the team’s success this summer was the consistent contribution Nagle got from her teenage girl swimmers, featuring the efforts of Emily Lovett (15), Sophia Monaghan (15), Carla Tuan (14), and Daniela Momo (17).

“My older swimmers, 14-and-under and the 17-and-under did well; some other teams don’t have that,” said Nagle.

“Emily Lovett was able to come more this year; it was great to watch her swim her events. Sophia did really well at the PASDA meet, there was one swimmer from Trenton Country Club (Jillian Liwacz) who beat her in both races. It was also nice to see Sophia coach, the younger kids look up to her.”

Two of the team’s younger boy swimmers, Daniel Baytin (5) and Simon L’Heveder (8), emerged as stars this summer.

“Daniel Baytin is five years old and he did very well at the PASDA championships,” said Nagle.

“He is very, very competitive; he has so much fun. They were playing music at one meet and he was dancing between races; he has a lot of energy. The L’Heveders live in Switzerland and come here every summer; their mom was raised in Princeton so they come and spend summer with grandparents. Simon is little but speedy. He is a year-round swimmer and he is very good.”

A group of four water polo stars, Nicholas Bunn, Ramon Olivier, Walker, and Andrew Mavis, gave the Lemmings some key depth.

“They are water polo players at Lawrenceville; they were a big help for us,” added Nagle.

“Usually, the water polo guys can’t do the PASDA meet because of a tournament in California that conflicts with the meet. But this year, the older kids went on the first day and they were able to come to the meet.”

In reflecting on the banner summer, Nagle said the involvement of the club’s parents together with the team’s meet-day enthusiasm helped things come together for the Lemmings.

“We have the same spirit with the same home-made cheers at the end of the meet with standing and cheering during relays,” said Nagle, a star performer for the Lemmings in the 1980s who has been the head coach of the program since the summer of 2008.

“If we didn’t have the parent volunteers, we couldn’t have the season. We had a tie-die party for the whole club and the kids and parents wore the T-shirts to the PASDA meet. Maybe we started a new tradition.”

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