Will Stange got his start in swimming with the Community Park Bluefish as a 6-year-old.
Becoming a consistent winner that first summer after obtaining some goggles, Stange has come a long way in the sport.
He started swimming year-round for the Princeton Piranhas club and has competed in a number of regional and national competitions.
Joining the Princeton High boys’ squad in the 2010-11 season, Stange emerged as a standout from his first meet. In his sophomore year, he helped the Little Tigers go undefeated on the way to the program’s first state Public B title. As a junior, Stange won the 100 back and took second in the 100 butterfly to help PHS win its third straight boys’ title at the Mercer County Swimming Championships.
As this summer rolled around, rising PHS senior Stange was excited for
another season with his first team.
“I have been doing it for 11 years and I always look forward to it,” said Stange, referring to the Bluefish. “I know pretty much everyone on the team, it is a lot of fun.”
Stange had a lot of fun for the Bluefish at the Princeton Area Swimming and Diving Association (PASDA) championship meet in late July, placing first in both the 18-and-under 50 backstroke and 50 butterfly while taking second in the 100 individual medley.
“I would have liked to win every event,” said Stange. “Jamie Finnegan [of Flemington Raritan] got me in the IM on the breaststroke. I was happy with the back and the fly.”
After wrapping up the PASDA season, Stange headed to Plantation, Fla. to compete for the Piranhas in the Southern Zone Senior Long Course Championships and then travelled west to Irvine, Calif. to swim in the Junior Nationals.
Going against some of the top swimmers in the nation in the California meet, Stange acquitted himself well.
“The 200 back is my main event; I did a 2:07,” said Stange, noting that his personal record is 2:05.5.
“I was looking for the senior national cut of 2:04.99. I also did the 100 back, 100 fly, and 200 free. I set PRs in the 100 fly and the 200 free.”
Stange is planning to do some big things in his final season at PHS.
“I am really looking forward to it,” said Stange. “I want to break the 100 back and 200 free records, they are the only ones to break after the state championship meet our sophomore year.”
The Little Tigers are looking for another state championship. “We are going for it; we talk about it,” said Stange, who helped PHS win its fifth straight Public B Central Jersey sectional title this past winter. “We are going to take it one meet at a time.”
Having come so far in swimming since starting with the Bluefish, Stange has his sights set on competing in college and beyond.
“I am looking at a number of schools, both D-3 and D-1,” said Stange, who is in the thick of the recruiting process.
“I definitely want to swim through college and then I would like to swim at the 2016 Olympic trials.”