Displaying Quality, Upbeat Competitive Approach, Nassau Swim Club Surges to 2nd in PASDA Meet
GAIL FORCE: Becca Adlai-Gail displays her breaststroke form in a race this summer for the Nassau Swim Club Lemmings. Last week, Adlai-Gail won the Division 2 girls’ 18-and-under 100-yard individual medley, took second in the 50 freestyle, and third in the 50 butterfly at the Princeton Area Swimming and Diving Association (PASDA) championship meet. Her performance helped the Lemmings place second in the Division 2 team standings at the meet. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
Liz Noles has fond memories of wiling away summer days with the Lenape Swim Club program.
“My friends and I would spend almost all day there and just hang out because we have grown up with that,” said Noles, who starred for the girls’ swimming team at Montgomery High and helped it win a state Public A title in 2015.
Joining the Nassau Swim Club this summer as a co-head coach of its Lemmings team, Noles felt right at home.
“Everyone was so welcoming; the kids are just so friendly and outgoing, they will talk to anyone about anything,” said Noles. “I felt very welcome. Overall, it was a fantastic experience. I was very happy with it.”
Noles is very happy with how the team competed this summer. “I think everyone had a great season,” said Noles, who guided the program along with Logan Barnes.
“They were always happy with the wins but no one was devastated by the losses. They had fun doing it.”
After going 2-2 in dual meets in Princeton Area Swimming and Diving Association (PASDA) Division 2 regular season action, the Lemmings placed second in the Division 2 team standings at the PASDA championship meet last week at the Community Park pool with 1,687 points, trailing only the Ben Franklin Swim Club, which piled up 2,993 points.
“We had a little over 60 swimmers, which seems small, but it was enough for all of our meets,” said Noles, who is entering her sophomore year at the University of Maryland where she is studying supply chain management and is involved with College Mentors for Kids and the Children’s Developmental Clinic on campus.
“We had some really high quality swimmers, so that really helped make up for our size in a lot of meets. The swimmers did very well at championships.”
At the PASDA championships, the Nassau boys’ 10-and-under group did very well, led by Daniel Baytin, who took first in the 25-yard freestyle, the 25 breaststroke, and the 100 individual medley.
“We were actually second to last for Division 2 going into the final session of PASDAs and those boys managed to pull us up to second for the division so they all did fantastic,” recalled Noles.
“Daniel Baytin broke three records at the championships and he got the 10-and-under MVP award. Coll Wight, Alex Burton, Owen Barry, and Daniel had a fantastic relay. They were almost unstoppable this season.”
In the 8-and-under boys, Sinjin Scozzaro did well, taking fifth in the 25 free and second in the 25 backstroke.
“Sinjin is a great swimmer, he has so much energy,” said Noles, who also got good work in that age group from Piers McDowell, who took third in the 25 back and second in the 25 breast.
“He loves swimming; he would come into the pool with cap and goggles on, ready to jump in and swim. He worked on his strokes so much this season and really improved. We really liked what we saw from him at champs.”
Simon Sheppard and Lorne Wight led the way for the Nassau boys’ 12-and- under group. Sheppard won the 50 back, the 50 fly, and was third in the 50 free while Wight placed first in the 50 breast, 100 IM and was second in the 50 free.
“They are both very, very fast swimmers; Lorne swims in a club team and Simon came to all of our practices,” said Noles.
“They definitely are dedicated swimmers and just do whatever I put them in, no matter what. Even if it is not their favorite stroke, they will swim it.”
At the 14-and-under boys, Henry DeCheser showed his dedication, taking second in the 50 fly, third in the 50 breast, and sixth in the 50 free.
“He was one of two 14 and under boys, he had a very strong summer,” said Noles. “I ended up swimming him up with the 18-and-under sometimes and he held his own there. He is a very versatile swimmer. He could do any event I put him in which is good considering that I had very few 14 and unders.”
Recently graduated Princeton High star Will Kinney was a stalwart for the club, competing in the 18-and-under boys.
“Will Kinney wasn’t at the championships,” said Noles, noting that Kinney also served as an assistant coach for the Lemmings. “Throughout the rest of the season he was fantastic at dual meets and he was fantastic with the kids.”
The Adlai-Gail sisters, Becca and Rachel, enjoyed another big season for the club. Becca won the 100 IM, took second in the 50 free, and third in the 50 fly at the PASDA meet while Rachel took second in the 100 IM, fifth in the 50 fly, and eighth in the 50 free.
“They swim for a club team but they would come to the meets,” said Noles. “Wherever I put them in, they did well. It was Becca’s last summer swimming; she just graduated high school. They did amazing at champs.”
One of Nassau’s younger swimmers, Phoebe Roth, had an amazing meet at the PASDAs in the 6-and-under girls, taking first in the 25 free and second in the 25 back.
“Phoebe’s whole family has swum for the Lemmings, she has a summer birthday which is great,” said Noles “She turns seven this summer so she can still swim the 6-and-under.”
The Wei sisters, Juliet and Kimberly, proved to be another strong family connection for the Lemmings. Juliet took second in the girls’ 8-and-under 25 fly and 25 breast, while Kimberly was second in the girls’ 12-and-under 50 back, fourth in the 50 breast, and fifth in the 50 fly.
“They were always at the meets, ready to swim,” said Noles. “They could do whatever I asked them to do and they did a great job with it. They are very dedicated swimmers.”
Isabelle Monaghan and Margaret Hill did a great job in the 14-and-under girls. Monaghan placed second in the 50 free, 50 back, and 100 IM while Hill won the 50 fly, took third in the 50 free, and fourth in the 50 back.
“Isabelle and Margaret were our only two 14-and-under girls, which was somewhat unfortunate because it was hard to make the 14-and- under girls’ relay,” said Noles.
“They are just such strong swimmers we can usually swim them up in the 17-year-olds and they hold their own. They both would come to practice and do exactly what we asked. They definitely improved throughout the season. They had a great time; they have all their friends on the team.”
The team’s corps of 12-and-under girls produced some strong performances as well.
“I had four or five 12-and-under girls; their relays did great,” said Noles. “It was usually Sophia Burton, Emma Hopkins, Kimberly Wei, and Nina Urciuoli.”
All in all, Noles enjoyed the great spirit she saw around the Lemmings this summer.
“Everyone on the team is so close,” said Noles. “All the kids on the team knew each other so well. It was very laid back, like I think summer swimming should be.”